Peruvian food, and especially the food of Cusco’s streets, hotels, homes and restaurants, is fantastic fare. The San Pedro Market, host to many of its fine ingredients, is the perfect place to explore. A window to the culture, it gives a unique perspective on Peru, its people and its food.
Let’s take a closer look at the Mercato San Pedro, now that we have a deeper understanding of the geographic, historical and ethnic influences on Peruvian cuisine that have made it into the wonderful fusion sensation that it is today…
Chef José Luis proudly proclaimed, in a candle lit corner of his Uchu Restaurant, over an incredibly beautiful dish of ceviche, “In Peru we do not eat. We taste.” Sitting at a small table, tucked away in a corner, getting to know Chef José, I looked down into the bowl of ceviche that had just been placed before me. It was stunning. What a way to begin our evening!
But it was not just that the bowl of ceviche was visually beautiful; its tastes were remarkable as well. Each bite was different. The flavours danced and played in our mouths while the ideas that he shared with us about the development of Peruvian fusion cuisine swirled in our minds. It was a tremendous way to start an evening, an evening of exploring Peruvian cuisine during a culinary tour of the city’s restaurants and street food stands.
I think that the biggest surprise in all of our travels in Peru was just how incredibly good the food was in Cusco.
Those of you who know me well, know that I love cooking and I love experimenting with my food. I knew very little about Peruvian food, other than the fact that quinoa and potatoes were used ubiquitously, and so I assumed that the food would be quite plain. Was I ever wrong! I was simply floored by the tastes & textures, the variety and the creativity that was inherent in the dishes we tried while in Cusco. THIS was no Costa Rican rice & beans food culture!