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La Costanera: Contemporary Peruvian Cuisine

Paella

Peruvian cuisine has a long history. From the Inca tradition dating back centuries to Chifa, Peruvian food combines interesting aspects of many traditions to create meals many travel halfway around the world to eat.

Peru has some common items that find their way into most meals. Potatoes originated in South America and the fact there are thousands of varieties make them a staple in most dishes. Sweet potatoes are used more in Peru than in the rest of the world. Aji peppers offer a range of Peruvian flavors, from sweet to smokey to spicy, to enhance local dishes.

Some of the oldest dishes have a distinct Spanish or African influence as both came to the country during the conquest. Those cultures brought things like chocolate, creams, sugar and hot spices like curry to South American foods.

Italian and other European influences resulted in decadent desserts that are rich with custards, creams and even triple creams. They are the perfect ending for a spicy meal.

One of the most popular modern trends in Peru is Chifa, a fusion cuisine combining Chinese cooking styles with Peruvain traditions. This trend has expanded beyond Peru’s borders and is also becoming popular around the world in places like England and the United States.

With Chifa cooking, recipes use items that are uniquely Peruvian like aji peppers and organ meat and combine them with Chinese flavors like soy sauce and rice. Most Chifa is cooked in a wok or deep fried. There are restaurants opening in the country that are strictly Chifa, proving the fusion food’s popularity.

Food connoisseurs in the United States can try Peruvian fusion food from a chef who grew up understanding Peru’s traditions. Chef Carlos Altamirano, a native of southern Peru, of La Costanera Restaurant on the coast near San Francisco created a menu focused on authentic, modern Peruvian food. Come, explore this remarkable cuisine at this Peruvian restaurant!

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