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haak78 /
haak78 /

Peru's flavours

Peru is one of the top culinary destinations in the world. The Pacific Ocean, rich with seafood, and the diverse landscapes give Peru a well-stocked pantry that the country’s chefs put to excellent use. From street food to award-winning cuisine: Peru is a world-class gourmet destination, with the capital Lima as the absolute highlight.

¡Buen provecho!
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Old and new

In 2012, the jury of the World Travel Awards – the Oscars of the international travel industry – instituted a category for best culinary destination in the world. In the four ensuing award ceremonies, Peru took home one award after another. This should hardly come as a surprise: the Peruvian kitchen has been progressive since time immemorial. “What seems traditional to Peruvians could be ultra-modern to the rest of the world,” legendary chef Ferrán Adriá once stated.

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Christian Vinces /

© Christian Vinces / 

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¡Gracias Incas!

Take the good old potato: a popular staple since the days of the Inca, and Lima’s Mercado Central sells hundreds of varieties. How about quinoa, a star ingredient of salads and stews that has drawn legions of fans in recent years? In Peru, this grainy morsel has been a hit for more than 6,000 years. In Lima, the ‘mother of all grains’ still features in the dishes of dozens of local chefs. Even cannelloni and crème brûlée can’t escape the craze. At Mayta, Jaime Pesaque serves a quinoa dish with crispy mushrooms and quinoa beer.

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“Mayta offers a constantly evolving cuisine with contemporary techniques, where the priority is the perfect product.”

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Fine dining

The yearly election of the world’s best restaurants features two more Peruvian superstars from Lima in its top 30. Astrid & Gastón gives ancient flavours a contemporary twist with a classic touch. Highlights include suckling pig with a roasted fruit terrine and quinoa.

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“At Astrid y Gastón they are willing to review ingredients and recipes, with a clear goal of bringing Peruvian cuisine to the world.”

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The equally outstanding Maido restaurant marries Andean dishes with Japanese influences, creating surprising combinations such as monkfish burgers and chocolate sushi.

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“The ingredients of both the Peruvian and Japanese culinary culture complement each other as if they were born to be together.”

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Tastiest town

The flavour of Peru is an irresistible melting pot that combines dishes from the Spanish settlers, African slaves, Japanese world travellers and Italian immigrants into one giant Peruvian cauldron of deliciousness. Sample an authentic Creole lunch at El Rincón Que No Conoces (translation: the corner you don’t know), while Chez Wong is lauded by both friend and foe as the king of ceviches. Even seasoned gourmet tourists will be dazzled by this city’s culinary highlights. A food tour with the Lima Gourmet Company will help you get your bearings.

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