Things to try when visiting Peru
We thought it would be fun to put together a kind of (check list) if you will, listing some food & drink items to sample while you are visiting Peru, the items listed are either difficult, if not impossible to find outside of Peru, or are Items that Peru is known for. We hope you enjoy your trip and have fun trying to check off all the Items on this list.
Ceviche – This is one of those Items that Peru is known for, it is raw fish and seafood that has been essentially cooked (cured) by citric acid (lemon or lime juice). We recommend trying this dish while in Lima at a Cevicheria.
Cuy or Guinea Pig – This is a traditional Andean protein that has less fat & more protein than chicken , are you brave enough to try it?
Rocoto Relleno – If you like things on the spicy side, this one is for you. Rocoto is a pepper that is similar in appearance to a bell pepper, but with a bit more heat (quite a bit more), this is a typical dish from Arequipa and while best tried there, it can be found in other areas as well, but not all locations will use the same pepper.
Lechon – While you will find this dish in many locations, it is best tried here in Huarocondo as this is what our town is famous for. Lechon is slow cooked pork, and here in Huarocondo the pig must be 10kg or less, combine the smaller size with the slow roasting in adobe ovens, and the result is tender, fall off the bone pork.
Inca Kola – A yellow colored soft drink that has a taste similar to a mix of cream soda and bubble gum.
Kola Inglesa – A red colored soft drink.
Chicha Morada – This dark purple drink is made from Peruvian purple corn, the corn is boiled with cinnamon and cloves and then sugar and lime juice are added.
Mate de Coca – This is a tea made from the leaves of the Coca plant, and is generally considered to be a remedy for altitude sickness (although there is no clinical evidence to support this), and yes this is the same plant that cocaine is made from, so if you might be subject to drug testing back home, you might not want to try this..
Muna Tea – Muna is an Andean herb that has a minty taste and is another local remedy for altitude sickness, this can be a good alternate to Coca tea if you have concerns over drug testing, as it is not a controlled substance.
Chicha de Jora – This fermented drink is made from corn, traditionally the fermentation process was started by chewing on the corn, now they start with sprouted corn which already contains the enzyme that the chewing used to add, so now chewing is required.
Fruitillada – Another fermented corn drink, but this one has strawberries added to it which makes it sweeter and pink in color.
Cusqueña Beer – Cusco’s own brew that currently comes in 5 varieties, Regular (Dorado), Dark (Negro), Red Lager, Wheat (Trigo), and occationally you can find a Quinoa version as well.
Borgoña wine – This is a sweet Peruvian wine and one you are not likely to find elsewhere.
Pisco Sour – The ‘National Drink’, made with Pisco (a Peruvian brandy), Sugar, Lime, and egg whites
Coca Sour – Similar to the Pisco Sour with the addition of Coca Tea
Street foods, Snacks & Deserts
Choclo con Queso – Fresh Choclo (Peruvian giant corn) served with a piece of fresh cheese.
Anticuchos de Corazon – Pieces of marinated beef heart grilled on a skewer (typical street food).
Picarones – These doughnut like rings are made from sweet potato and pumpkin, and are typically covered in a sweet syrup (typical street food).
Mazamorra Morada – A thin pudding made from Peruvian purple corn.
Suspiro a la Limeña – A very delicious desert.
Donofrio Triangulo – Chocolate, need I say more.
Sublime – Milk chocolate with nuts.
Chicha Candies – Like the drink only harder.
Coca Candies – Great for hiking around ruins, still contains coca.
Guanabana – This fruit comes in a variety of sizes and is generally roundish, it is a dark green on the outside, with a pattern a little like a green pine cone. The inside is white and kind of custard like with large seeds.
Cherimoya – This fruit is almost identical to the Guanabana, with the surface of the fruit being smoother, the fruit itself is also a creamy white color but has a taste very similar to pineapple.
Maracuya – AKA passion fruit, this fruit tends to be oblong in shape and a light tan to yellow color on the outside and can sometimes be a little wrinkled. The inside is filled with small seeds that are surrounded in a jelly like substance which is the fruit. The seeds can be eaten, either chewed up or just swallowed, and the fruit is a little tart by itself.
Granadilla – This is in the same family as the Maracuya, and is teardrop shaped, orange in color and usually a bit smaller than a baseball, the inside has the same structure as the Maracuya but is much sweeter.
Lucuma – This fruit is very dry and best tried as a flavoring for something else, like ice cream or yogurt.
Pepino Dulce – This fruit is a light cream or yellowish color with purple stripes on it, the surface is smooth and it comes in both round and elongated shapes. The flavor and construction are both similar to a mild melon.