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From Ceviche to Anticuchos: A Trip Through Peruvian Cuisine

Recently updated on April 30th, 2024 at 05:52 pm

Much like its diverse landscape – from the desert, coast and rainforest to the Peruvian Andes – Peruvian cuisine has a varied culinary tradition. Stemming from the Incas, with influence taken from European colonists and Asian immigrants, this unique culinary heritage has created an identity that’s easily distinguished from any other. From ceviche to anticuchos, join us as we take a trip through the best of Peru’s signature fare.

Peruvian Cuisine

At the heart of Peruvian cuisine is the quality of the native ingredients used in each dish; within the country’s multitude of altitudes and environments, there are said to be over 3,800 kinds of potatoes alone, as well as a cornucopia of different grains (especially corn), chillies and even cacti. And while ceviche is widely considered Peru’s unofficial national dish – served up in cevicherias across the globe – this is just a fleck on the country’s culinary spectrum.

In recent years, Peruvian chefs have risen to fame in the world’s gastronomic capitals by championing a wide range of signature dishes from their home country, while continuing to innovate each of the plates they create. Take Virgilio Martínez Véliz, for example, who splits his time between Central in Lima (currently No.4 in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards) and Michelin starred LIMA and LIMA Floral in London. Focusing on Peru’s landscapes and traditions, Martínez strives to create new culinary experiences, which is perhaps best experienced in the degustation menu at Central.

Naturally, travelling through Peru gives an unrivalled insight into the country’s most authentic fare; here are a few of the best local dishes to try on your own culinary discovery.

Peruvian Cuisine

Five Peruvian Specialties to Try


Originally made with seabass, but now embracing a variety of the nation’s bountiful seafood, this Peruvian specialty consists of raw fish marinated in lime juice, onion, salt and hot chillies, balanced in both flavour and texture by the crunchy corn kernels and sweet potato that often accompanies it. A zingy Pisco Sour – in which local liqueur Pisco is combined with lemon juice, syrup and egg white – makes the perfect pairing.


As squeamish as some might be when it comes to being served guinea pig, it had to make our list of Peruvian specialties, due to its steadfast position as one of the country’s signature dishes. This meat is most typical of the Peruvian Andes, traditionally stuffed with herbs and roasted over an open wood fire, then served with potatoes.

Peruvian Cuisine

Lomo Saltado

One dish that eloquently displays the fusion of native Peruvian and Asian culinary styles is this combination of stir-fried sliced beef, red onions, tomatoes and the local yellow chillies, with soy sauce, vinegar and cilantro.


From street food vendors to top restaurants, these skewers of grilled meat go down resoundingly well with diners, and while they are typically made with either alpaca, chicken or beef, the most traditional are made with beef heart, which many people believe to be the best.

Aji de Gallina

Another of the country’s steadfast culinary favourites is this rich stew of chicken and the native yellow chillies, aji amarillo, with a creamy sauce that’s thickened with bread.

Peruvian Cuisine

By travelling to Peru with Trafalgar, guests can have an authentic experience of Peruvian cuisine by dining with a local family at Casa Diez Canseco. Learn about the history of the hosts’ ancestors and tour the historic home, before having a home-cooked meal of traditional Peruvian delicacies.

Travel to Peru with Trafalgar on the Highlights of Peru trip, In the Footsteps of the Incas, Land of the Incas, Cultures and Contrasts of South America, Icons of South America, and South America Revealed.

Image credits: Cover photo © iStock / Anika Salsera. At a Peruvian Market © iStock / Bartosz Hadyniak. Peruvian Ceviche © iStock / Caria Nichiata. Aji de Gallina © iStock / fabianpulido. A Peruvian woman selling cactus fruit © iStock / Bartosz Hadyniak.

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