5 Must-Try Peruvian Foods


Peru's cuisine is as diverse as its topography. With the Pacific Ocean on its western border, the Andes Mountains running its length, and the Amazon Rain Forest in southeast, the varied climate and biodiversity provide much to eat. Peru has a multiethnic culture, with influences from American Indians, Spain, and elsewhere in Europe, Africa, and Asia. This is also reflected in their cuisine. Here's a primer of what kind of dishes to expect when visiting a Peruvian restaurant like Inka Grill.


This dish is similar to shish kebab, frequently found in Mediterranean cuisine. It is simply marinated stew meat, skewered and grilled. The marinade consists of vinegar, to tenderize the meat, and cumin, garlic, and chili peppers. Beef heart is commonly used for anticuchos, but also octopus, chicken, and chorizo sausage.


This dish of fresh fish and seafood "cooked" in acid is the national dish of Peru. The country also celebrates "Día Nacional del Ceviche," or National Ceviche Day on June 28th each year. Corvina bass is the traditional fish used. It is prepared with bitter orange or key lime juice, onions, and chili peppers. Sole, shark, mussels, octopus, squid, and scallops are also commonly used. It is typically served with corn on the cob, plantains, and sweet potatoes.


This dish is cooked similar to a New England clam bake. Meat, generally lamb, mutton, or pork is marinated in spices and then wrapped in banana leaves. Dozens of stones are heated over a hot fire. The meat, along with potatoes, corn, sweet potatoes, yucca, and cassava are placed on the stones and then covered with soil and grass. After about two hours, it is unearthed and ready to eat. This dish is usually prepared for a large gathering, as a pig roast would be.

Arroz Con Pato Peruano

Peruvians eat a lot of duck and other waterfowl. This dish consists of a duck leg braised in dark beer and served with locally harvested rice that is bright green from the addition of a lot of freshly chopped cilantro leaves and peas. It is served with Salsa Criolla, the most popular relish in Peru. It is made from sliced red onions, aji amarillo, which is a bright orange pepper common in Peruvian cuisine, and fresh cilantro, all marinated in olive oil, vinegar, and lime juice.


Many South American families raise guinea pigs in their backyard but not as pets; they are a common, easy, and inexpensive meat source. They are usually baked or grilled whole, complete with the head and teeth still intact, and taste similar to rabbit or wild birds. Cuy usually is served with ají huacatay, a green salsa that tastes reminiscent of mint.  


5 December 2016

Enjoying New Restaurants

As soon as I started traveling a lot for work, I realized that I was going to be eating out--a lot. Instead of just visiting the same old fast-food restaurants that I had grown up with, I decided that it would be great to explore exciting new restaurants. I started small, by going to little places that had earned high ratings, and then I worked my way up to some of the more fancy establishments in the area. It was really great to see what I was able to find, and I was super pleased to explore so many new kinds of foods. Check out this blog for tips on enjoying new restaurants.