Gastronomy is the satisfying art of preparing and eating good food. Peruvian gastronomy takes this art to a higher level. Peruvian cuisine today is steeped in the cultural traditions of growing and preparing food that have evolved over thousands of years. Ingredients come from the highest peaks of the Andes to the depths of the Pacific Ocean, many unique to a specific ecosystem.
The worldwide popularity of Peruvian food and the roots of its origins are a source of national pride to Peruvians. Chefs in Lima highlight the culinary breadth of the country’s cuisine by combining traditional ingredients and methods of cooking with new interpretations of flavors. The presentation of these foods on the plate is a panoply of colors and textures that appeal to food aficionados the world over.
The methods of preparing Peruvian food respect the qualities of the ingredients. Potatoes may be roasted, fried, boiled or puréed. Each variety has a distinct taste, color and appearance. Papas huayro absorb the flavors of meats and sauces, adding depth and complexity to the taste of dishes like causa. Dried potatoes add a highly nutritious element to carapulcra, a stew of meats and spices.
Corn may be dried and ground to make a flour or roasted to bring out the succulent juices of the grains. Cancha serrana, a popular appetizer in restaurants in Lima, is made from chulpe, a special type of corn. The grains are gently toasted in butter until the kernels begin to burst, then salted and served.
Pachamanca is an ancient Andean method of cooking. Potatoes, sweet potatoes, meats, chilies and herbs bathed in a tangy marinade are layered between leaves in an earthen oven and baked on hot stones for several hours. The clay oven is removed and cracked open to reveal the savory, full-course meal that is often served on piping hot pieces of clay.
The desserts of Peru range from delicate pastries to ice creams flavored with sweet fruits. Cremolada, a contraction of the two words “crema” and “helada,” blends native fruits with sugar and water. The concoction is chilled to a slushy consistency, served in a glass and eaten with a spoon.
La Costanera Restaurant located on Montara Bay just south of San Francisco invites guests to a Peruvian gastronomic experience. This Peruvian restaurant presents refreshing interpretations of Peruvian cuisine under the expert hand of Chef Carlos Altamirano. Join Chef Altamirano and his staff for a taste of Peru.