and spicy nature of Peruvian food, created by ají and ajo
(hot pepper and garlic), has become celebrated at home and
abroad. Peruvians enjoy a wide variety of vegetables; there
are over 2000 kinds of indigenous and cultivated potatoes
alone. Table service is the norm in hotels and restaurants
and many of them also offer buffet-type lunches. National
Tropical fruits are abundant, as are avocados.
Ceviche is a local speciality (uncooked fish marinated in
lemon or lime juice and hot chili pepper, served with fried
corn, sweet potatoes, onions and flavoured with coriander).
Escabeche is a cooked fish appetiser eaten cold, served with
peppers and onions.
Corvina is sea bass, which can be prepared in a variety of
ways, and is always an excellent choice.
Scallops (conchitas), mussels (choros), octopus (pulpo) and
shrimps (camarones) are plentiful and delicious.
Chupe de camarones is a chowder-type soup made with shrimps,
milk, eggs, potatoes and peppers.
Papa a la huancaina (yellow potato with cheese and chilli
Arroz con choclo (rice with corn).
Cau cau (tripe cooked with potato, peppers and parsley).
Causa relleńa (potato cakes with chicken in the centre, but
also cooked with avocado or crabmeat).
Tamales (boiled corn dumplings filled with meat and wrapped
in a banana leaf).
Sopa criolla (spicy soup with beef and noodles).
Ají de gallina (shredded chicken in a piquant cream sauce).
Anticuchos (strips of beef or fish marinated in vinegar and
spices, then barbecued on skewers).
Lomo saltado (pieces of beef sautéed with onions and
peppers, served with fried potatoes and rice).
Rice and potatoes accompany virtually every dish.
Traditional desserts are arroz con leche (rice pudding).
Alfajores (wafer-thin spirals of shortbread dusted with
icing sugar) and served with manjar blanco (a caramel
Picarones (doughnuts served with syrup).
Mazamorra morada (purple maize and sweet potato starch jelly
cooked with lemons, dried fruits, cinnamon and cloves).