Listen up travelers and misfits alike. We’re not here to talk about Machu Picchu or Lake Titicaca. We’re here to talk about some tasty treats your face pocket needs to be introduced to when venturing to this ancient cradle of civilization. Peruvian food is exotic and filled with absolute flavor bombs. We here at Baja Llama love Peruvian food. Our co-founder Sean is half Peruvian so most of these dishes are made right here at HQ. Let’s dive in!
1) Anticuchos de Corazón (Grilled Heart)
No trip to Peru should be without getting a little more heart in you! Don’t be a wimp and just go for it. These hearty skewers are delicious in every way.
2) Rocoto Relleno (Stuffed Spicy Peppers)
Stuffed peppers can be found in many countries but none quite as fiery and full of flavor. These peppers are hot and can be used as a base to make some of the best side sauces in the world. In Peru the flavor gets a bit milder and savory with too many ingredients to list. Just know that you will be a better person after eating it.
3) Cuy (Guinea Pig)
This one is definitely the most reviled dish on the list and one we feel needs to be taken down upon landing. This is what it boils down to – when you’re 79 recounting tales of your past adventures or just telling your mates some fun stories 7 years down the road – you can’t be the sally traveller too scared to eat some little rodent. Just trust us, these little creatures are plentiful and very traditional. It’s just like rat/chicken! If you need to dive deeper, read BBC’s article here.
4) Papas a la Huancaina (Potatoes in Spicy Cheese Sauce)
One of the best tasting sauces period comes from aji amarillo. Spicy ahi mixed with cheese evaporated milk and some seasonings make for a perfect accompaniment to potatoes. The starchy bastards soak up the gooey goodness and spice perfectly.
5) Aji de Gallina (Creamy Chicken)
Bam – more aji amarillo on your plate because it’s f*cking delicious – no other way to put it, except right in your mouth over and over again. Devour this shredded chicken in a slightly spicy cream and yellow pepper sauce. Muy bien!
6) Lomo Saltado (Stir Fried Beef)
This is the undisputed champ – the heavyweight favorite among Peruvian delicacies and what Sean’s mother would make weekly for dinner. This dish is simple and effective. Meat, onions, tomatoes, french fries, rice and some other secret family dashes of flavor.
7) Alpaca Steak
You’re probably wondering what do these furry, mid sized, long neck creatures taste like? If you’re not now, you should be. Alpaca is one of the most flavorful and lean meats you can readily eat in the Andes. The Peruvians sure did figure out how to turn these adorable fluff balls in to some good eats.
Last year was the SEVENTH year in a row that the World Travel Awards have named Peru the World’s Leading Culinary Destination. This shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone in tune with the culinary world. For the last decade or so, the country has raised its gastronomic profile.
Check out our short video of when team Baja Llama visited Peru last year. We’re all excited to go back!