With so many cultural influences in Peru – from Spanish colonialism to Chinese immigration, as well as a variety of indigenous cultures – it is no surprise that Peruvian cuisine reflects this mixture. Immigrants who moved to Peru, unable to find the ingredients for their own traditional food, adapted many recipes with Peruvian substitutes that were available. This resulted in some classic Peruvian dishes like lomo saltado, a meat and vegetable stir-fry topped with French fries.
Join Kelley Ferro on this episode of #TravelTogether as she explores Peru’s culinary landscape on our Mythical Machu Picchu Journey. Watch below as she strolls through Surquillo market, munches on cancha (roasted corn kernels), and learns to make ceviche.
From freshly squeezed juice made from Peruvian produce to the pisco sour, the drinks in Peru are equally as flavorful as the food. One popular Peruvian drink is called chicha morada. Named for its deep purple hue, this refreshing beverage is made from dried purple corn with spices, sugar, and pineapple rind. The purple corn that gives the drink its distinct color is also a powerful antioxidant; some claim it can even lower blood pressure or reduce inflammation.
Health benefits aside, chicha morada is a perfect drink for summer – a little spicy, fruity, and cold. You can even make it yourself to get a taste of Peru at home. Here’s our recipe:
Image: Pitcher of chicha morada; McKay Savage, Flickr
1 gallon water
1 (15 ounce) bag of dried purple corn, about four cobs
Rind and core from one ripe pineapple
3 cinnamon sticks
½ tablespoon whole cloves
½ cup sugar or more to taste
1 lime, juiced
1 green apple, quartered (optional)
Add the water, corn, pineapple peel, spices, and apple (if using) to a large pot. Bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, reduce heat to simmer for 45 minutes.
Once it has simmered, strain the contents of the pot into a large bowl. Add the sugar – half a cup to start, but feel free to add more to taste – and the lime juice. Refrigerate until cold. Serve over ice, and enjoy. ¡Salud!
- Dried purple corn can be found at Latino markets, online, or in the international section of your local supermarket.
- One serving suggestion is to reserve some pineapple chunks to freeze for garnish.
Peru is just one of many destinations available with Travcoa. We offer Escorted Journeys, Private Tours, and Custom Travel itineraries around the world. To learn more, call your travel agent or a Travcoa Journey Consultant at 1-800-992-2003, or email email@example.com.