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.