In recent years, Peru especially Lima has become highly regarded within gastronomical circles, with no less than three of the top fifty best restaurants in the world located there. And now we begin to wonder if it is the new culinary capital of the world?
On my recent trip to Peru. I was quite simply, wowed by the food. It was consistently excellent throughout the whole of the country – from the heights of the Andes to the depths of the jungle. It is a source of national pride and indulgence for any visitor here.
Peru’s cuisine inherited its innovation and mix of flavours from it’s rich history and varied cultures. Culinary fusions have developed all over the country from the Peruvians take on Spanish tapas, to Peruvian Chinese and Japanese restaurants on almost every road – known as Chifas. Dishes encompass everything from Alpaca to nutritious pastas and the famed Ceviche. The mix of cuisine is made possible by the range of ingredients available throughout the country. You can discover these for yourself at one of Lima’s bustling markets – gigantic fish, 3,000 types of potatoes and colourful fruit.
The country’s top restaurant, Central, in Lima was voted number 5 in the World’s Top 50 Restaurant List and Maido, also based in Lima, slightly behind at number 8. To put that into context the UK’s best restaurants did not even make the Top 20! BBC’s MasterChef recently travelled here to learn about the culinary genius of the chef and ingredients. Central has been pivotal in Lima’s transformation to one of the globe’s must visit dining destinations. Diners can expect a colourful journey through Peruvian cuisine and its ecosystem, taking in some better known dishes like ceviche while presenting many exotic fruits, vegetables and herbs that most diners won’t have heard of – let alone be able to pronounce. Courses on the Mater Elevations tasting menu include Spiders on a Rock with mussel, crab and abalone; Marine Soil with razor clams, sweet lemon, pepino and starflower; and Close Fishing, an octopus dish with yuyo, barquillo and squid. You can enjoy a 17 course (yes 17!) tasting menu at Central – for around $120. If you are hoping to dine here on your trip, you must book early, which is something we can arrange for you. I also dined in to Chicha in Arequipa and Rafael in Lima which delicious, excellent service and offer great value for money.
Or alternatively enjoy your food on the go, whilst sightseeing around the city. The most popular street snack is the anticuchos – a kebab of skewers cow’s heart. A lot nicer than it may initially sound. Or indulge in churros filled with Manjarblanco – as a sweet tooth these were my personal favourite! After all of your eating is complete, wash it down with a Pisco Sour – a refreshing cocktail available in many of Lima’s cools bars around Barranco. Just don’t go to the Pisco Museum expecting it to be a Museum, it is simply a bar… which for some may be the better choice.
See some of our Peru itineraries to see how to incorporate some of these foodie hotspots into a holiday. To book a holiday to Peru or enquire about our exclusive gastronomic experiences please contact us.