Peru is most known for its Incan ruins and the beauty of the Andes, but the country’s varied cuisine should also be a main attraction. Seafood plays an important role, but locals also eat plenty of beef, pork, chicken, and even guinea pig. Other staples include potatoes (regular and sweet), quinoa, corn, squash, avocado, peppers, passionfruit, papaya, and many other regional fruits and vegetables.
If visiting Peru, it’s also worth remembering, that different regions of the country all have their own typical cuisine. Each region offers different tastes, based on climate, available produce, and local culture. The mountainous regions rely on hearty soups to warm them on cold nights, while the coastal areas serve up the bounty of the oceans.
In the capital, Lima, ceviche — citrus marinated raw fish or seafood — is a popular dish that can be found on most restaurant menus. If visiting the Andean region of Peru, you might want to try a freshly caught trout, seasoned with salt and pepper, roasted whole, then served with a wedge of lime. Or maybe seek out some of Peru’s “fusion fare,” like chifa, the Peruvian take on Chinese food, which you can taste with dishes such as lomo saltado, in which strips of beef are stir-fried with soy sauce, onions, tomatoes, peppers, and served with rice and French fries.
Regardless of which part of Peru you visit, there will most certainly be a dish (or two) that you should try. To see seven must-eat dishes (and one drink) for your next trip to Peru, click through our slideshow.