This is one of The Food Channel’s Top 10 Food Trends for 2012, based on research conducted in conjunction with CultureWaves®, the International Food Futurists® and Mintel International. For the full list, click here.
It looks like Peruvian cuisine may be the next Big Thing on the ethnic culinary scene. Gastón Acurio certainly hopes so. He reportedly has invested $5.5 million on his La Mar Cebicheria Peruana restaurant which opened its doors this fall in New York. The Mistura Food Festival, held annually in Peru’s capital of Lima, has become one of the biggest food events in the world, attended by a half-million foodies, including many internationally-known chefs.
Spain’s Ferran Adria, among the globe’s leading authorities on haute cuisine, is currently working on a documentary film about the food scene in Peru. Watch for that one on Netflix!
Peruvian cuisine is considered one of the most varied and rich of the world. Thanks to the inheritance Incan, Pre-Incan and to the Spanish, African, Chinese-Cantonese, Japanese and Italian immigration, it gathers, it mixes and creates a gastronomy and exquisite flavors of four continents, offering an unrivaled variety. On the Peruvian coast alone, there are said to be more than two thousand different soups.
Peruvian cuisine features a great deal of seafood, often prepared raw or cured. Its culinary creations are typically highly acidic with ingredients like Key lime juice and red onion. The fruity aji pepper, which brings a tingle to the lips, is another frequent component of the cuisine.
The potato is another prominent player in Peruvian cooking. Potatoes, in fact, have their origins in Peru. Peruvian-style ceviche often includes bits of yellow potato or yams. Mashed potatoes are served cold in Peruvian cooking, topped with fish or chicken salad in a dish called causa.
Another Peruvian favorite is rocoto relleno, which is a rocoto chili pepper usually stuffed with a mix of beef, pork, onion, garlic, butter, cream and pecans.
Huacatay, pronounced wah-kah-tye, or Peruvian black mint, is an herb often used in Peruvian cuisine. The fresh leaves are ground into a paste, which is then used to add flavor to recipes.
Lima has become Latin America’s leading gastronomic destination, according to culinary experts, and a thriving industry of cooking schools has been created there. So we can expect to see grads of these culinary schools creating more Peruvian inspired dishes and opening more Peruvian restaurants in the coming years.
We expect 2012 will be the breakthrough year for Peruvian food. Be on the lookout for a Peruvian restaurant opening up on a corner near you.
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See our great sea bass ceviche recipe!
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