Peruvian food has gained a lot of attention in the last few years, with chefs, foodies, and casual diners all starting to realize just how tasty this South American country’s cuisine truly is. From the unusual cuy (that’s guinea pig to you and me) to the elegant causa Limeña (potato, avocado, eggs, and other ingredients stacked and served cold), you’ll have your choice of plenty of great food if you’re planning an upcoming vacation to Peru. If you’re traveling with kids, they may be hesitant to try some of the local food. Keep an eye out for these three traditional Peruvian dishes and you won’t have to worry about your kids going hungry. Hopefully your kids will come back to the States with a whole new appreciation for Peru’s incredible cuisine!
You’ll immediately take note of Chinese influence on Peruvian cuisine when you order your first plate of lomo saltado while traveling in Peru. Depending on your kids’ feelings towards vegetables, they might frown upon a few of the key ingredients in this Peruvian take on stir fry. While they may not be enthusiastic about the peppers, onions, and beef, the fact that this saucy, delicious plate comes with French fries mixed in and and is served on top of white rice should earn some points in the “yummy!” department. This meal is a classic in Peru, and every traveler, regardless of age, should give it a try at least once while traveling there. Luckily, you can ask most cooks and chefs to alter the plate for discriminating tastes (like those of your 7-year-old, who refuses to eat tomatoes or onions).
Pollo a la Brasa
If you were looking for a straightforward translation, pollo a la brasa would simply be rotisserie chicken to North Americans. But this isn’t your average grocery store chicken. Pollo a la brasa is a staple of modern Peruvian cuisine, and everybody and their grandmother loves getting a big plate of juicy chicken, cooked over coals, served alongside an equally tasty mountain of French fries. Part of the fun of going out to eat pollo a la brasa is that you’ll have your choice of dipping sauces to accompany your meal, ranging from ketchup and mayonnaise–which you just have to mix in order to eat like the locals–to the superbly spicy and tasty rocoto. Every parent knows that if there’s one thing kids love when it comes to eating dinner, it’s dunking things in sauce (think chicken nuggets and the like) before consuming them!
Similar to the “buñuelos” you’ll find in other Latin American countries, and occasionally even called by that name in Peru, picarones are a deep fried dough that is traditionally prepared in an “O” shape in Peruvian homes and by street vendors. This is anything but your traditional fried dough, or even a churro for that matter, thanks to the inclusion of Incan ingredients like sweet potatoes and anise. What really sets picarones apart from other fried delicacies from around the globe is the super sweet honey-like sauce–it’s a flavor that’s somehow hard to describe–that you pour over these sticky, gooey, and all-around tasty treats for optimum enjoyment.
Are you planning a trip to Peru with your family? If so, make sure you learn some Spanish basics or polish up your skills from past training before you make the journey! While many people in the tourism industry speak basic English, you’ll definitely benefit from knowing some of the local language, and will win over those around you by communicating in their native tongue. Contact us to learn about language classes for you and your family today!