In matters cuisine, Peru is the Hope Diamond of Latin America. The nation’s food varieties aren’t found anywhere else in the world. They are unique and delicious and are not to be missed if given the opportunity to indulge. The surge in popularity of Peruvian restaurants outside of Peru is a testament that the country’s burgeoning culinary scene. Native ingredients mixed with tastes and techniques from Europe, Africa, and East Asia. Inspired by ingredients from around the globe (Japan, Spain, Italy and Spain) Peruvian dishes flawlessly integrate these additions to create mouth-watering dishes.

Ceviche

The undisputed flagship meal in Peru, visitors can enjoy this protean cured raw fish meal just about any place in the country from the small street carts to stylish restaurants. Taking maximum advantage of a vast coastline, chefs marinate fresh seafood like tuna, sea urchins, sea bass, octopus, black clams and sand smelt in lime juice and adding rocoto chilies or limo. Seafood bathes in the spicy and yet creamy mixture named Leche de Tigre also tiger’s milk for a couple of hours. It’s rumoured to cure hangovers. Fine amounts of sweet potato, cilantro, canch crunchy and red onion cancel out the acidity.

Cuy (Deep-Fried Guinea Pig)

We can’t sugar-coat how tasty this staple meat is. This predominant meat raised in numerous homes in the Andes goes by another name in the U.S: guinea pig. One measure of how popular the dish is among the rural dwellers: in a cusco based Cathedral hangs an imitation of Da Vinci’s Last Supper where Christ and his disciples are sited around a salver of cuy. This meat is rather bony and is barbecued or baked on a spit then served whole even with the head still on. The meal has a welcoming gamy taste similar to that of a wildfowl or rabbit.

Causa (Potato Casserole)

Visit any Peruvian market, and you are sure to see two things; many potato varieties and huge piles of avocado. A traditional causa coats potatoes and avocados in a kind of casserole. It’s then sliced and dished out cold. Other layers may contain meat, hard-boiled eggs or tuna.

Lomo Saltado (Stir Fried Beef)

The meal came about as a result of Chinese immigrants who were searching for employment opportunities in Peru. After blending Chinese stir-frying and common Peruvian ingredients; Lomo Saltado was born. This meal is prepared by blending beef, tomatoes, peppers, and onions in a pan along with soy sauce and fried potatoes until they form heavy, weighty gravy. Often served with two starches, it is one successful mix of East and West.

Aji De Gallina

The yellow aji pepper gives its colour – a shade akin to Tweety Bird’s – to various Peruvian cuisines. Among them is Aji De Gallina, a rich and velvety stew made with condensed milk and chicken and gelled with de-crusted white bread. An alternative for vegetarians is the famous papa la huancaina, that’s boiled potatoes with creamy yellow sauce.