Peru is indisputably a South American culinary destination, if not one of the culinary capitals of the world – with Peruvian food being recognized as the World’s Best Culinary Destination at the World Travel Awards, for over 9 years consecutively. In the capital, Lima, chefs from all over the country, the continent and the world come together to create the dishes that Peruvian cuisine is most known for – like fresh and fragrant ceviche, rich lomo saltado, creamy aji de gallina and more. There are many dishes and experiences that make for the best food experiences in Peru.
From cooking classes to markets to sampling restaurants across the country, Kuoda is ready to help you discover your inner foodie in South America’s food capital of Peru. Here are some experiences to consider telling your travel planner about when planning your adventure through the country:
– Cooking Class in Lima
Learning about Peruvian cuisine is practically a rite of passage for foodies in Lima. And while dining out in this gastronomic boomtown can be a truly enlightening experience, you won’t be able to recreate your favorite dishes without finding out what is happening in the kitchen. Kuoda can arrange a small-group cooking class at one of the best restaurants in town.
Students will be given a master class on ceviche and pisco sours from a professional chef, learning how to produce these classics for themselves. Vegetarians can opt to prepare a meat-and-fish-free ceviche instead.
– Pachamanca cooking class in Cusco
Those who worship at the altar of Peruvian cuisine may already be familiar with name Marcelo Batata; this leading chef and his eponymous restaurant are famed for their interpretations of Peruvian cuisine. With Kuoda, aspiring foodies can attend a Marcelo Batata cooking class and learn the tricks of the trade from top Cusco chefs.
Over the course of four to five hours, this eight-step lesson guides participants through ins and outs of Peruvian gastronomy, from selecting produce all the way through to plating. After a broad introduction to Peruvian food culture, you’ll wander about a mock food market, touching, smelling and even tasting various spices and unfamiliar fruit, before preparing a multi-course feast, from appetizers through to a post-meal pisco sour. This is one of the most hands-on food experiences in Peru.
– San Pedro Food Market Tour
Want to pick up ingredients for caldo de cabeza or cuy? Even if you’re not an adventurous eater, there’s something for everyone – a visit to San Pedro Market is well worth doing if only to experience an authentic slice of everyday life in this city.
A trip to San Pedro Market, located just a few blocks southeast of Cusco’s Plaza de Armas, is no average grocery run. Local vendors here sell foodstuffs that vary from fresh and tasty produce (think fruit, vegetables and cereals) to more grisly delights (pig heads and fried rodents). Adventurous eaters can sample some of the ready-made meals at the hot food booths and quench their thirst with freshly squeezed juices. Perhaps pick up a bouquet of blooming flowers, medicinal herbs or even supplements, some of which are said to have magical effects.
This market is a place for discovery. Follow unfamiliar smells to their source and examine and even taste unusual produce – the likes of which simply doesn’t feature on the supermarket shelves of Europe and North America. Food is really only one part of its appeal, though. The market, a lively and animated place, is worth visiting for the atmosphere alone. Bargain with vendors for the best price, rub shoulders with the locals and enjoy just a little taster of what life is really like in Cusco.
– Chocolate Workshop in Cusco
The ChocoMuseo or Chocolate Museum in Cusco is the perfect place for anyone with a sweet tooth to get their hands into the process of making sweet, rich chocolate. Peru is one of the world’s biggest cacao producers. Cacao gave farmers the chance to transform from coca (raw material for cocaine) to cacao farms.
The museum shows you various interesting things about Peruvian chocolate, from the harvesting of the cocoa beans to the drying of the cocoa pods. Here, visitors can learn about how the cacao bean is made into a chocolate bar. Choose between classes like chocolate sculpting or truffle filling and bring back a delicious souvenir for friends and family back home from your incredible food experiences in Peru.
– Food Tour in Lima
Limeños are prideful of their cuisine, and rightfully so – the extensive cultural influences, Spanish, Arabic, African, Chinese, Japanese, and Italian, chefs from all over the Americas and plethora of award-winning restaurants make Lima an exciting place to sip and savor.
Enjoy the best of Lima’s cuisine on a food tour experience which allows you to try the diverse cuisine of the capital and uncover the culinary stories that have transformed the city as well as meet locals and set the precedent for your food experience in Peru. Whether you’re into discovering local markets, cooking classes or fine dining, we have you covered with our ultimate Lima experiences that will prove to be one of the highlights of your luxury trip to Peru.
– Learn about Japanese-Peruvian immigration through Nikkei
In recent years, the food from one fusion of cultures, in particular, has been grabbing headlines in the culinary world: Japanese-Peruvian fusion or Nikkei – a style of cooking using Peruvian ingredients, molded by Japanese techniques. Multiple chefs cite the modern preparation for ceviche as particularly indicative of the Nikkei style. Before the Japanese influence in Peru, chefs would marinate fish (traditionally, corvina) for hours, often overnight. It was Japanese immigrants who taught Peruvians to treat raw fish more simply, and merely “cook it with lemon” seconds before plating.
Nikkei restaurants are a product of Japanese-Peruvian immigratio that took place in the early 20th century, with over 23,000 Japanese immigrants coming to Peru. By 1936, Japanese immigrants represented around 45% of immigrants in Peru, integrating their customs and traditions into all aspects of Peruvian culture from art, to fashion to food.
One of the most notable restaurants for sampling Nikkei is Shizen Restaurante, born in 2018 under the command of three young chefs, Mayra Flores, Coco Tomita, and Renato Kanashiro. The trio doesn’t shy away from innovation, especially with their daring chirashi ceviche, which breaks any established code for either dish. The chefs top a base of sushi rice with sashimi, a mix of octopus, tuna, salmon, and market fish, then layer on chalaca, a Peruvian blend of onion, cilantro, and chile, smoked yellow chile leche de tigre, and sweet potato tempura.
Nikkei is a flavorful masterpiece that can’t be missed on your trip to Peru – let Kuoda plan your foodie trip to Peru to indulge in all that Peruvian cuisine has to offer.