Undoubtedly, the Peruvian gastronomy is one of the most praised culinary art in the world, thanks to its vast diversity where over 2,500 typical dishes compose the Peruvian cuisine. Therefore, if you’re eager to know our special cooking techniques, we have the perfect activity for you!
The cultural expression in Peru can be experienced through food, where exotic flavors are perfectly harmonized with day-to-day ingredients and spices worth a try. Thanks to the different cultural influences in our country, dating back to pre-Columbian times, now we have such a variety of dishes that characterize us as a nation.
As aforementioned, there are thousands of Peruvian dishes, though only some of them are widely recognized, such as Lomo Saltado, Ceviche and even the Ají de Gallina. On this opportunity, you’ll learn to cook one of our flag delicacies, so you can take home much more than just the memories.
Before starting the cooking classes, it is important to know how to pick the best ingredients for the meal you’re going to prepare. Therefore, our culinary specialists will take you on a market tour, where you’ll get to know about the local agricultural production and the importance of the food supplies implied in the preparation.
Once you’ve finished shopping, we’ll head to the kitchen and start with the hands-on cooking class. However, first you’ll have some recommendations about the use of the space and the kitchen utensils.
Later on, the chef will explain everything you need to know about the dishes you’re going to prepare, including their origins, how they influenced international cuisine and their variations. Likewise, you’ll be guided step by step to learn how to cook the day’s specialty.
By the end of the class, everyone will gather around and taste their creations and what a better way to accompany such delicacy rather than a Pisco Sour, the emblematic drink of Peru.
Quick Tip: If you're staying in Lima for just 24 hours, you can visit any of these attractions and much more while you're there. Make sure to know everything about it while you are here!
Either you’d like to go with a more complex dish or something easy to make for your day-to-day routine, there are different options that you can learn to prepare. However, we recommend you to go for the Peruvian classics:
1. Lomo Saltado
It is one of the most beloved typical dishes of Peru. Apparently, it dates back to the XIX century and originated thanks to the chinese cuisine influence.
Therefore, instead of being a ‘criollo’ dish, it is more a chinese-peruvian fusion, just like the Chifa gastronomic experience. It is prepared with beef, red onion, yellow pepper, red or white vinegar, tomato, and seasonings.
The chinese culture has influenced the Peruvian culinary expression since 1849. They imported their vegetables from China and cultivated them here; and though the chinese adapted themselves into the Peruvian society, they kept their gastronomic heritage alive.
2. Ají de Gallina
To start, the Aji de Gallina is everyone’s favorite, we, as peruvians, haven’t met the first person to say they didn’t like this typical coastside dish.
If we trace back its origins, the Ají de Gallina is the product of the Spanish influence during the Colonial era. Presumably, the dish comes as a derivation of the ‘Menjar Blanc’ a Catalunya delicacy made of boiled chicken, seasoned with sugar, nuts and almonds.
The famous dish evolved overtime, and eventually became the Ají de Gallina we have today. It is prepared with chicken breast, ají amarillo, onion, bread, evaporated milk, parmesan cheese, and seasonings.
Ok, we couldn’t let Ceviche aside while talking about the Peruvian classics in gastronomy. The Ceviche is part of the national identity of Peru and it is considered as the base element of our gastronomy.
Likewise, this dish is the most representative of the entire nation. Its history goes back to the pre-hispanic Peru, being the Moche culture the first documented civilization to start preparing this famous dish.
The Ceviche evolved overtime, adding a few more ingredients to its preparation, being lime juice and ají, its principal elements. Currently, the classic ceviche is prepared with chunks of fish, onion and lemon juice, julienned red onion, coriander, corn, and celery.
4. Causa Limeña
It is another dish originated during the pre-Columbian era since the ancient Peruvians used to prepare it with yellow potato, kneading it with crushed chili.
Later, the Spanish influence added a few more ingredients to it, like lime juice, between the XVI and XIX centuries. However, this dish didn’t have a proper name and according to historians, it wasn’t until the arrival of Jose de San Martín that it was commercialized to support “the cause” during his military campaign.
For that reason, it is currently known as “Causa Limeña.” The typical Limeñan dish is prepared with yellow potato, lemon, yellow pepper, boiled egg and black olives, and it’s filled with tuna, trout, chicken or seafood.
As you can see, each meal represents the combination of the cultural expressions that marked our country. Each dish tells a story of evolution and though some of them may have a darker path, it does show how the good aspect of each society bonded together in harmony.
Important Note: If you’re a vegetarian or vegan, we have some alternatives available for you. We’d love to show you that our gastronomic expression also holds plant-based dishes that you certainly must know about. For more information, please contact our travel specialists.
We have different experiences in our travel packages where we want to portray the cultural side of Peru as an eminent force in our society. For that reason, we have structured this gastronomic experience to give you a tasting of Peru you’ll never forget.
If you wish to join our Cooking Classes, you just need to contact us and start planning your dream vacations. If food is your passion, take advantage of this opportunity and get immersed in the Peruvian culinary art.
Would you like to know more? Viagens Machu Picchu cares to provide everything you need to have an authentic experience in Peru. We encourage you to check our travel packages and special deals so you don’t miss anything in your vacations!