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Peru Food and Drink Guide

From zesty seafood Ceviche and spicy Rocoto Relleno to sweet and juicy prickly pears and sharp and tangy Pisco Sours, Peruvian food packs a punch full of taste and flavour. Here's our guide to the most popular food and drink to try in Peru.
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Lomo Saltado

A trip to Peru wouldn't be complete without sampling some Lomo Saltado. Literally translated as 'jumped loin' this dish comprises strips of beef loin, onion and tomatoes, flashed-fried with garlic and cumin and served with a pile of chips or rice. This tasty fusion of Peruvian and Chinese cuisine was originally developed by Chinese immigrants and has since become a popular national dish throughout Peru. 

Ceviche

Ceviche is a zesty seafood recipe made from raw fish marinated in fresh citrus juices and spiked with hot ají or chilli peppers. Lima is a hot-spot for tasty culinary experiences and is the perfect place to try this traditional Peruvian dish. Extend your stay in Lima on our Classic Peru Tour to try it at a market-stall bar in Mercado de Surquilloor or, for a more up-market version of this popular platter, dine in an alfresco restaurant and soak up the vibrant city atmosphere.

Guinea Pig

While in the West we consider these furry creatures cute pets, for the people of Peru, Guinea Pig, known locally as Cuy, is a traditional Andes delicacy. Drive through the Sacred Valley on our Heights of Peru and Machu Picchu Trip and stop in a small town to sample this unusual dish. Watch as the whole guinea pig is cooked on a spit over hot coals and try it with a generous side of potatoes, chips or spaghetti. 

Tuna Fruit (Prickly Pear)

Cusco's San Pedro Market is a feast for the senses. Meander past market stalls piled high with a rainbow of fresh produce on our Peru Encompassed Tour. Bunches of plantain hang above ripe mangoes, and it's hard to miss the plethora of Tuna fruit (also known as the Prickly Pear) on offer. Grown in abundance in southern Peru, the spiky appearance of this cactus plant is unappealing at first sight. But inside its juicy flesh is mouthwateringly sweet, and it is renowned locally for its medicinal properties.

Rocoto Relleno

Staying in the heart of Arequipa, we enjoy dinner overlooking the city's main square on our Peru Encompassed Tour. Baroque-style architecture surrounds a central water feature, and the softly lit spires of the Basilica Cathedral create a romantic setting. If you like spicy food, tuck into the local speciality, Rocoto Relleno, to enjoy a healthy dish of hot Peruvian peppers stuffed with minced meat, onions, herbs, olives and egg, topped with gooey melted cheese and served with a side of potato gratin - delicious! 

Ají de Gallina

The ultimate comfort food of Peru, ají de gallina is a luscious creamy chicken stew made with spicy Peruvian yellow chilis, red onion, garlic and bread, simmered in milk. The origins of this dish are not entirely clear, but some say it is an adaptation of the French dish chicken fricassee dating back to the French Revolution. Others think it was a medieval Spanish recipe, and some historians have linked it to ancient Inca times. Whatever its influence, though, it's safe to say it's a very popular staple of Peruvian cuisine today. 

Coca Tea

Hiking at altitude along the iconic Inca Trail in the sky-high Peruvian Andes mountains can be challenging, and altitude sickness is not uncommon. Luckily, Peru's coca tea can provide some relief from nausea and headaches. Watch as locals infuse dried coca leaves in hot water to create a greenish-yellow herbal tea and sip the mild, bitter brew to help keep discomfort at bay. 

Pisco Sours

This unique cocktail of Pisco liquor, lime juice, sugar and egg whites, vigorously shaken into a frothy mixture, has a sharp tang and a sweet aftertaste. Wander through steep winding alleyways of whitewashed buildings with pink tiled roofs and colourful balconies in the old capital of the Inca Empire, Cusco, before stopping to sample this popular Peruvian drink. Raise a toast to safe travels with your fellow adventurers on our Simply Peru Discovery Tour and celebrate in traditional Peruvian style.

Chicha Morada

Quench your thirst while travelling in Peru with a glass of homemade chicha morada. Originally developed in the Peruvian Andes, chicha morada is a non-alcoholic beverage that is widely consumed across the whole country. Produced from vast crops of purple corn harvested in the mountains, the concoction is spiced with cloves and cinnamon, sweetened with sugar, and served cold over ice to create a sweet, refreshing and easy-to-drink beverage. 

 

Sample Peru with us

Try out these dishes and get your fill of all the best Peruvian food and drink on a cultural small group tour to Peru. Visit markets to sample local delicacies and your local tour leader will be able to recommend the best places for dinner. 
View all Peru tours

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