Peru is the home of the descendants of the Incas, who were one of the world’s most advanced civilizations in their time and the largest empire in pre-Columbian America. Lima, Peru was the first capital of Spanish South America in the 16th Century. Peruvian culture blends Inca, Spanish and African influences. There is a lot more to it than the Andean flute players who play New York City’s streets for tips.
“You are what you eat,” so the saying goes. Peruvian food is rich compared to most cuisine in Latin America. Peruvian food is often served in large portions. The seafood is especially delicious. Peruvian grilled chicken is becoming popular in New York.
Potatoes were first domesticated in southern Peru and have been bred into over a thousand varieties that are now grown around the world.
Although the U.S. English pronunciation has lost its association with the Peruvian capital, Lima beans (Phaseolus lunatus) originated in Peru. Their name comes from the place of origin on boxes exported to the Americas and Europe by the Spanish Viceroyalty of Peru.
Tomatoes and Quinoa are also from the Andes region.
Ceviche is a signature Peruvian dish. It is believed to have been brought to Peru by Moorish women from Granada who came with the conquistadors.
Pisco, the national liquor of Peru, is an Andean grape brandy. The Spaniards distilled wine to make it easier to ship. Pisco was the most popular liquor of the California Gold Rush of 1849.