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20 Peruvian Foods You Need In Your Life

Just wow.

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1. Lomo Saltado

196flavors.com

What is it? Strips of beef stir-fryed with onions, peppers, and French fries (!).

Flavored with soy sauce and sometimes served with rice, this classic dish perfectly illustrates the proliferation of Chinese culinary tradition in Peruvian cuisine. Recipe here.

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3. Pollo a la Brasa

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What is it? Roast chicken with a side of French fries.

Served as a street food, in hole-in-the-wall spots, and more upscale eateries, this savory dish is one of the most common and loved meals in the country. Recipe here.

4. Alfajores

livingsweetmoments.com

What is it? Dulce de leche-filled shortbread cookies.

Prepared using hearty portions of butter, corn starch, and caramel-sweet filling, these cookies basically melt in your mouth. Recipe here.

5. Pastel de Choclo

perudelights.com

What is it? A spicy and sweet corn and beef casserole.

Though this dish traditionally calls for choclo — giant Peruvian corn that thrives in high altitudes — you can substitute it for another starchy white corn to get a similar taste. Recipe here.

6. Choclo Con Queso (Corn With Cheese)

@instafoodperu / Via instagram.com

What is it? Boiled corn on the cob served with cheese.

The ubiquitous Peruvian corn is also a popular street food paired simply with fresh cheese. Recipe here.

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7. Aji de Gallina

Rosana McPhee / Great British Chefs / Via greatbritishchefs.com

What is it? A spicy, creamy chicken stew served with rice, potatoes, and boiled eggs.

This dish is spiced using aji amarillo chiles, a sweeter chile ubiquitous in Peruvian cuisine. Recipe here.

8. Canchita

andreasrecipes.com

What is it? Salty, crunchy toasted corn.

This Peruvian version of popcorn is sold as a snack all over the country, and often served as a gratis pre-appetizer dish at restaurants and bars. Recipe here.

9. Pisco Sour

boulderlocavore.com

What is it? A tart, sweet cocktail based on Pisco and egg whites.

Chile and Peru have been intense rivals since the War of the Pacific in the 1800s and both sides fiercely claim ownership of this drink. Recipe here.

10. Jalea

Vicki Wasik / Serious Eats / Via seriouseats.com

What is it? Fried seafood served with fried yucca and sliced onions.

The tart creole sauce made with aji amarillo, lime juice, and cilantro helps to balance out the salty crunch of the fried seafood. Recipe here.

11. Papas a la Huancaina

okiedokieartichokie.me

What is it? Thickly sliced potatoes smothered in spicy cheese sauce.

The secret is in the sauce, which is packed with everything from aji amarillo peppers, queso fresco, garlic, and evaporated milk to give it its thick consistency and addictive flavor. Recipe here.

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12. Coca Tea

Calsidyrose / Flickr / Via flic.kr

What is it? Tea brewed using Coca plant leaves.

Natives and visitors alike sip on coca tea — or chew on raw coca leaves — at all hours of the day to alleviate altitude sickness and help with digestion. Cocaine is also produced using chemical extracts of the leaves, which would explain why you can't pack bring this stuff back into your home country. Womp.

13. Peru's Native Fruits

Michelle No / BuzzFeed

What is it? Lucuma, chirimoya, aguaymanto, and other fruits native to Peru.

IMO, no Peruvian food is more unique than the country's native fruit. Think caramelly lucuma, crunchy Skittles-like granadilla, and a mango-banana-esque hybrid (chirimoya). You can enjoy it raw, or blended into smoothies and baked into desserts.

14. Suspiro Limeño

girlcooksworld.com

What is it? A dulce de leche-based dessert topped with meringue.

Translating to "a sigh from Lima," this custardy treat will indeed elicit quiet smiles from every eater. Recipe here.

15. Causa

whats4eats.com

What is it? A layered potato dish often filled with seafood, avocado, or corn.

Made with mashed potatoes and topped with a creamy sauce, these tapas are dangerously easy to overload on. Recipe here.

16. Picarones

eatperu.com

What is it? Sweet potato fritters covered in syrup.

Peru is home to thousands (yes, THOUSANDS) of kinds of potatoes, so it's no wonder that its sweetest varieties make their way into the dessert selection as well. This dish combines potatoes and either squash or pumpkin. Recipe here.

19. Inca Kola

Joshua Debner / Flickr / Via flic.kr

What is it? A sweet, bubblegum-flavored soda.

Recognizable by its neon yellow-green color, this soda is ubiquitous in the country, and you'll find it stocked everywhere from mountain top shacks to tourist-packed restaurants.

20. Cuy

Anthony Tong Lee / Flickr / Via flic.kr

What is it? Guinea pig.

Though considered an exotic eat by almost every visiting tourist, this classic dish is enjoyed both in the countryside and luxury restaurants, and is often the priciest item on the menu. Some say it tastes like chicken, but you can be the judge 😉.

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