Malbec grapes grow in Argentina like nowhere else on earth; just as grass fed cows have no prettier place to graze than on the country’s endless plains. These are two iconic elements of the country. On their own they spin legends, but pair the two and this is where they form something special. Something only experienced in Argentina.
A list of native Peruvian fruits and their uses: Camu Camu, Lucuma, Aguaje, Sauco, the Peruvian Lime, Aguaymanto, Chirimoya, Tumbo, Cocona
The best Peruvian style chicken I’ve ever eaten isn’t from Peru. It’s from a Korean-american team in Los Angeles lead by Roy Choi, best known for their creation of the Korean taco and helping jumpstart the gourmet food truck craze in the United States. They call it “Cracklin Beer Can Chicken,” and it’s served Peruvian-style, with century egg, salsa roja, salsa verde.”
The Pure Nacional cacao bean, supposedly indigenous to Ecuador and wiped out due to disease a century ago, and was apparently rediscovered recently in northern Peru’s Maranon Canyon. As TastingTable clearly shows and the New York Times reports, American chocolatier Moonstruck has already released a Pure Nacional single origin chocolate bar (68% cacao), called Fortunato No. 4, as well as chocolate covered beans.
Gastón Acurio is Peru’s most famous chef and arguably the best-known Peruvian in the world. The son of a senator, Acurio went to study law in Madrid, Spain, but had a change of heart and went to Paris to Le Cordon Bleu culinary school. His first restaurant, Astrid y Gaston, was an instant success in Lima and it soon spurred satellite restaurants around Latin America and other chains based on the various types of Peruvian cuisine. The growth in popularity of Peruvian cuisine around the world in the past decade would not have been possible without him. Here is a list of Acurio’s vast restaurant empire around the world:
At Cusco restaurant Limo Cocina Peruana & Pisco Bar I sampled this fruity cocktail that has quite a powerful kick thanks to the Aji Limo, a flavorful Peruvian chile pepper.
Ten years ago there were no good restaurants in Cusco, Peru. About five years ago came along Cicciolina, Map Café, and Inka Grill. Two years ago came Rafael Osterling’s Bistrot 370 and Gaston Acurio’s Chi Cha. Now it’s Coque Ossio’s Limo, which I consider on par with Bistrot 370 as the best restaurant in Cusco.
In the past year, I’ve seen more and more Peruvian restaurants in Lima adding Ceviche Frito (Fried Ceviche) to their menu. The concept sounds perplexing, but really isn’t. It’s basically battered and fried seafood that is given the same treatment of purple onions and bits of rocoto that are soaked lime juice (basically, leche de tigre) poured over it just like a typical Peruvian ceviche.
Peru’s north coast town of Chiclayo, about halfway between Lima and the border with Ecuador right on the Pan-American highway, is rich with archeological sites, beaches, and museums that make it a must on any trip in the north of the country.