There are good reasons Peru is one of the primary culinary destinations in South America. The geographic diversity (mountains, jungles, deserts, coastline and more) combines with centuries-long traditions from indigenous cultures and a capital city where creative chefs are constantly innovating. Taken together, this means the country is always producing exciting and delicious food.
Peru is the birthplace of the humble potato (there are over 4,000 types here), but don’t overlook this simple ingredient. In Peru, you’ll find sizes, shapes and presentations of potatoes you have likely never seen or tasted. Similarly, there are hundreds of corn varieties, resulting in dishes and beverages (alcoholic and nonalcoholic) that are novel to many visitors. The country grows a staggering variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, which is largely due to the land’s geographic diversity. The Amazon jungle covers a large part of the country, and it produces an array of unusual and unique tropical fruits, some of which are found nowhere else in the world. Like coffee and chocolate? Peru is a leading producer of both. Locals recognize this abundance of globally loved foods and cater to the demand with new establishments and products that allow visitors to taste the best the country has to offer.
As if that weren’t enough, the sizable populations of Chinese and Japanese immigrants have had a unique influence on Peruvian food. This can be experienced, for example, in chifas—simple, inexpensive and tasty Chinese restaurants found all over the country. Wherever you go in Peru, from the fertile high-altitude Andes (home of quinoa, potatoes and corn) to the Amazon, with its exotic fruits, to the swanky, cosmopolitan restaurants in Lima, good food is never hard to find here.