When one thinks of Peru, many automatically think of the World Wonder, Machu Picchu, but does Gastronomic Capital come to mind? Those that have traveled to Peru know this, as well as Foodie Travelers having Peru on their immediate To-Travel/Eat list for some of the best Chefs and Dishes in the World. Lima, the Capital of Peru, is known to be a city filled with Culinary Excursions (upscale & hole-in-the-walls) and the best starting point not just to land but to begin your feast. You can literally stay a week just to try all the different restaurants.
Ceviché in Lima, Peru
The most popular dishes in Peru are Ceviche, Cuy (Guinea Pig), Lomo Saltado, Soups/Stews (my favorite: Aguadito de Pollo), and Pisco (drink). Peru’s most popular crops add just as equal importance in every meal with Quinoa, Potatoes and Corn. I dedicate this post to my favorite Peruvian dish, Ceviche. While I tried close to a dozen Ceviche dishes in various restaurants, I will award the best restaurant to El Muelle in the Barranco Neighborhood, bohemian/artsy district in Lima. [ address: Calle Cavero No. 225 | Barranco, Lima 4, Peru ]
Ceviche is a seafood dish made with raw white fish or seafood (shrimp, octopus, squid, etc) depending on which country is preparing, chopped up into small bite size pieces, splashes of lime or lemon juice, salt, diced up red onions and the options of green/red peppers, cilantro, as the basics. The citrus juice somewhat cooks the seafood, so there is a mastery in exactly how long the juice should be prepared ahead of time (usually 2-3 hours). When the marinade is perfected, you can catch me gurgling down the rest of the juice, called “leche de tiger” (tiger’s milk).
Ceviche is most popular in the coastal region along Central America and South America (think Geographically for the Seafood), although it’s origin is found in Peru, hence the perfection of this dish.
At El Muelle, and most other Peruvian restaurants, they serve a small tray of fresh Corn Nuts as complimentary starter. These corn nuts are in no comparison to the bags of corn nuts we get in the US. For starters, they use local corn to make this (not the hybridized mass corn production in the US). I love chomping on this small starter dish as I waited for entrees.
The main dish we got was the Seafood Rice which was DELICIOUS.
Other restaurants with delicious Ceviche dishes I recommend is Chicha and Limo in Cusco.