Lima Cuisine

Metropolitan Lima

Lima is known as the gastronomic capital of South America for a culinary legacy that inherited superb pre-Hispanic and colonial cooking traditions and was nurtured by the best Western and Oriental cooking.

Fish and the fruits of the sea are the basic ingredients in “tiradito”, a soft marinaded fish served in a yellow pepper or “rocoto” chili cream, “parihuela” fish and shellfish soup. Shellfish and rice are served Peruvian style while Chorrillana fish is served with fried yellow peppers and tomatoes. Scallops Lima-style are baked with grated Parmesan cheese and barnacles are marinaded in a lime sauce and served with onion, tomatoes, red peppers and finely chopped parsley. Mixed “jalea” combines deep-fried shellfish, octopus and fish, among other delicacies.

African-Peruvian food includes grilled beef kebabs, “cau-cau” tripe and potato stew in coriander, yellow peppers and herbs, and “tacu-tacu”, a hot-fried beans and rice dough stuffed with beef or shellfish.

Creole food, the mix of Spanish and local cuisines includes highly-recommended “causa”, a cold chicken or shellfish potato pie with tomatoes and avocado; “tamal”, a hot dry corn mash filled with hot peppers and chicken or pork and wrapped in banana tree leaves for slow cooking; a chicken and cheese stew known as “ají de gallina”; potato dough stuffed with spiced ground beef, grilled chicken, charcoal-cooked chicken with fries and a spicy sauce; “escabeche” or soused fried fish or chicken in a spice and herbs sauce; “carapulcra” dry potato and pork; and renowned “sancochado”, a beef, chicken, pork, potato, corn, cabbage and vegetables chowder, served with various sauces.

Peruvian versions of Chinese dishes include “chaufa” Cantonese rice, and beef-sauté with onions and tomatoes in a red peppers, tomatoes and soy sauce, which are local favorites. An endless list of desserts is topped by “suspiros” meringues in a sweet milk custard, and purple corn custard or “mazamorra morada”. Other favorites include rice milk pudding made with pisco grape brandy, Doña Pepa nougat that brings together the flavors of sweet baked wheat flour sticks, lard, eggs and anis seed layered with fruit and sugar syrup and finally fried doughnuts or “picarones” made from yam flour bathed in molasses syrup.

Favorite beverages are “chicha morada”, a non-fermented drink made from Peruvian purple corn, beer and typically-Peruvian Inca Kola soft drink.

Anticuchos/P.Cáceres/ PP

Useful Information:
In Lima: Five-star hotels, restaurants, open stall markets, fish restaurants,
and neighborhood diners offer an impressive array of dishes in the Peruvian capital.

Chifas are Peruvian-style Chinese food restaurants.



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