July 15, 2024
The Story Behind Peru’s Gastronomic Emblems

Peruvian food is a culinary treasure that has won the hearts of many tourists and locals alike. But have you ever wondered what the story behind each of Peru’s famous dishes is? In this post, we’ll explore the origins and evolution of some of the most iconic dishes, all worthy representatives of Peru’s urban food culture.

Chaifa Food  

This is a style of food that combines Peruvian and Chinese gastronomy, and is a sample of Peru’s culinary richness. This style of food was born in the city of Lima, where a large population of chinese immigrants settled in the 1800s.

Chaifa food uses Peruvian and Chinese ingredients, and fuses culinary techniques from both cultures. You can find emblematic dishes such as chaufa rice, which is a fried rice with pieces of chicken, pork or seafood, onion, egg and soy sauce. To prepare a simple version of this dish you can visit: https://carolinarice.com/recipes/arroz-chaufa/

Another popular dish is stir-fried noodles, which consists of stir-fried noodles with beef, onion, tomato, bell bell pepper and soy sauce.

In addition to these main dishes, chaifa food also has a wide variety of appetizers and side dishes. For example:

  • Fried or steamed wantanes, which are Chinese dumplings filled with meat and vegetables.
  • Chicken chapsui, a stir-fried chicken with vegetables and noodles.
  • Lomo salteado, a stir-fried beef dish with onion, tomato and french fries.

Street Food  

Peruvian fast food also offers a variety of emblematic and internationally renowned dishes. The best known are the following:


Ceviche is one of the best known dishes of Peruvian gastronomy, and it is also a very popular street food.

It is believed that ceviche originated in northern Peru, where local fishermen mixed fresh fish with lime juice and chili bell pepper to preserve it during long boat trips. Today, ceviche is one of the most emblematic dishes of Peruvian food and can be found all over the country, from fine dining restaurants to street stalls.


Anticuchos are beef heart skewers that are grilled and served with potatoes and chili sauce. This dish originated during pre-Hispanic times, when the Incas used to prepare and eat alpaca and llama meat on skewers. Later, during colonial times, the Spanish introduced beef and the grilling technique.

Stuffed Potato  

Stuffed potato or papa rellena, is a very popular street dish in Peru. Consists of a potato stuffed with meat, onion, hard-boiled egg and spices, which is then fried. It is believed that stuffed potatoes originated during colonial times, when the Spanish introduced the potato to Peru. Peruvians quickly adopted this ingredient and used it to create a variety of dishes.

Peru cuisine history | Peru food facts | Peru for Foodies


Although churros are not a traditional Peruvian dish, they have become a street food favorite in the country. Churros were introduced to Peru during colonial times, when the Spanish brought this traditional sweet with them. Today, churros can be found in street stalls throughout the country, often served with hot chocolate for dipping.


Tamales are a popular Peruvian street dish consisting of corn dough stuffed with meat, onion, chili and spices which is wrapped in banana leaves and steamed. Tamales date back to pre-Hispanic times, when the incas used to cook an early version of this dish with alpaca and llama meat. Later, the spanish introduced corn and spices, and tamales evolved into the street dish we know today.

Nikkei Food  

This is another fusion, this time between Peruvian and Japanese gastronomy which arises from the influence of the Japanese community in Peru. The word nikkei means “of Japanese origin” and is used to describe people of Japanese descent born or living outside of Japan.

Nikkei cuisine combines ingredients and culinary techniques from both cultures, resulting in a wide variety of unique and delicious dishes.

Some of the most popular Nikkei dishes are Nikkei tiradito, which is a version of Peruvian ceviche with a Japanese twist. Here, the fish is sliced thinly and served with a sauce of aji amarillo and ponzu (Japanese sauce). Another dish is Nikkei sushi, which is a variant of Japanese sushi that incorporates Peruvian ingredients such as aji amarillo, avocado and chicha morada.

Peruvian cuisine offers interesting fusions that offer a variety of delicious and unique dishes. This food is a reflection of Peru’s rich cultural diversity and the culinary experience it offers visitors.