Photo Credit: Ablestock.comIn a country where simple ingredients like corn, potatoes and chili peppers are staples of the cuisine, you wouldn’t necessarily think it would be worthy of epicurean high praise—but you’d be wrong. According to the Daily Mail, Peru was just named the ‘Leading Culinary Destination’ in South America at the World Travel Awards. Peru’s traditional cuisine has evolved over the centuries, developing as far back as the rule of the Inca Empire. It sees many different cultural influences ranging from Chinese to African to Japanese, and most prominently Spanish with the incorporation of rice, wheat and protein like beef and pork.
Fortunately, no one needed to bring goats found in northern coastal dishes, alpacas for in recipes made in the Andes, or piranhas used in the local jungle cuisine, since those critters are all indigenous to each region. And you health freaks out there that have recently jumped on the quinoa wagon, you’re way behind—Peruvians have been enjoying its blandness for years. It's normal to be nervous about traveling to an exotic country and trying its different flavors though, so perhaps it's best to start with dishes containing ingredients most familiar to you. If someone offers you cuy chactado and you’re not feeling too adventurous, just say “no fried guinea pig for me, thanks.”