Peruvian Food Growing In Popularity In The United States
Peru is a country located on the coast of South America. Although hundreds of miles away from the United States, the country’s food offerings have recently grown in popularity. Over the past few years, more and more Peruvian restaurants have begun opening in the United States and elsewhere around the globe. In fact, data from the National Restaurant Association shows that Peruvian was one of the top trending world cuisines last year.
There have even been Peruvian restaurants that have opened in Ashburn! One of the reasons why Peruvian food is so unique is because the country is subject to various climate and geographies. For instance, there is a coastal climate where seafood is abundant. There is also a mountain climate, ideal for growing grains like quinoa. There is also a jungle climate, which produces incredible fruits. Below are some of the foods most common to Peruvian dishes.
Vegetables: Potatoes, Corn, And Peppers
If you’re a fan of spicy, you’ll be delighted to hear that Chile peppers are used frequently in Peruvian dishes. However, they also use a yellow pepper that is sweet with a hint of spice, known as the Aji Amarillo. Most Peruvian chefs grind this pepper down and add it do a sauce used commonly in dishes. Chefs will also pour the sauce over choclo, which is native corn with extra-large kernels.
One of the most popular uses for this pepper is in an appetizer, papa a la huancaina. Chefs make this by boiling potatoes and then pouring the yellow pepper sauce over the top. Then, chefs will add a few hard-boiled eggs on top to complete the dish. Chefs can experiment with the flavoring of their meals by adding other peppers, like the mild, brown pepper aji panca and the sweet and spicy red rocoto.
Peruvians are known for eating whatever fish they can find off their coastlines. One of the most popular ways to enjoy the fresh fish is ceviche-style. This is raw fish that chefs “cook” by marinating the meat in citrus juice. A traditional dish would be ceviche fish covered in fresh onions, Peruvian corn, and the aforementioned yellow sauce. Natives will enjoy fish at all times of the day, especially in the morning.
You may also find a different seafood salad, known as jalea, in a Peruvian restaurant. This salad features a mixture of seafood, both breaded and fried. In addition to tilapia, you may also find mussels, shrimp, crab, and squid. Instead of serving this over greens, as would be the customary salad in the United States, the seafood is served over an onion salad.
One of the more popular drinks in Peru is the chicha, which is a deep-purple soda. Peruvians have said that they enjoy this beverage with nearly every meal. Many Peruvian restaurants in Ashburn, VA make this combination in-house by boiling native purple corn and then adding a variety of ingredients, including: