With its iconic dishes, ceviche and tiradito, Lima is a prime destination for those who love good cuisine. Its gastronomy is the result of disparate influences: African, indigenous and Chinese, which all coalesce in delicious dishes that enchant even the most demanding palates.
The capital of flavor and good dining, Lima offers a great variety of traditional dishes served in venues ranging from five star hotels to restaurants to ceviche joints and chicken shops, markets, huariques and chifas (Chinese restaurants). Considered the center of regional cuisine, it also hosts the most important food fair in Latin America: Mistura.
Its captivating cuisine takes the form of an extensive menu of dishes with fish as the star ingredient, and ceviche, a source of national pride. Tiradito, a version of ceviche without onion, and parihuela, fish soup with shellfish, are typical seafood dishes. Others on the long list include rice with shellfish, chorrillana-style fish, shells á la parmesana, mussels á la chalaca (cooked in lemon and served in their shells), jalea mixta (fried fish and other seafood), tequeno pastries stuffed with crab meat, tuna-stuffed potato cake, fried rice with fish, pastas with seafood sauce, etc.
The African influence brought to our cuisine the offal used for the famous anticuchos, which are skewered cow hearts grilled over a charcoal fire; cau cau, a stew of tripe and potatoes; and tacu tacu, refried beans mixed with rice and topped or stuffed with meats or seafood.
The Peruvian-Hispanic fusion created dishes such as causa limeña, a potato puree stuffed with poultry, seafood, or avocado and tomato; tamales, a spiced ground corn paste filled with chicken or pork; and ají de gallina, a creamy stew of hot peppers, milk, bread and spices with shredded chicken breast.
The Chinese influence also led to new culinary delights that please the palate with delicious dishes such as arroz chaufa, rice cooked and fried in soy sauce with small pieces of chicken, pork, egg and green onions, and lomo saltado, which is sautéed potato, meat, onion, tomato and hot peppers, seasoned with soy sauce.
Deserts are another source of creativity. The purple mazamorra pudding, rice pudding, el suspiro a la limeña custard, turrón de doña Pepa cake, and the deep fried picarones pastries all represent the sweeter side of meals in Lima. The purple corn beverage known as chicha morada, along with beer and Inca Kola, a yellow soda drink, are all traditional drinks in Lima.