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Peruvian Desserts & Dishes You Must Try in the Sacred Valley

Peruvian desserts and dishes are becoming world famous for their fusion of native cuisines, European styles, and some ingredients imported from Asia. Living in rural Peru for two months, I ate a TON of local food occasionally supplemented by home cooking. Eating lunch out was so cheap. It would have cost me more to make food at home, when a 4-course meal only costs $1.75. Want to see what I ate?

LOMO SALTADO!

Lomo saltado! One of my top 3 favorite foods in Peru.

Finding Peruvian Food Again, At Home, On My Computer

The dishes themselves are unique in terms of the herbs and spices, as well as simplicity, while the flavors are strong and fresh. I swear I never had the same mate (tea) from a restaurant more than twice in my time there, and that truth lends itself to a practical study of exactly how many different greens they brew up.

During this time, right after Christmas and just before New Year’s, it is weirdly difficult for me to find food to eat. I’m a flexitarian, meaning I’m mostly vegetarian, but will eat meat very occasionally if there are no other options. But, you say, most of the foods I have in this slideshow contain meat.

Fabulous steak dinner, about $13. I only had this one once!

So now I really have a hankering for Aji de Gallina or Lomo Saltado, and I can’t find any that I’d eat here. I’m missing the cheap delicious food of Latin America, especially the Peruvian dishes and the friendliness served with each plate. In Quito, Ecuador one could find a nice lunch with juice and soup and an entree for $3 or $4. In Cusco and surrounding areas it was $1.50 or $2 for the same deal, sometimes adding in a tiny appetizer and dessert as well.

Finding these places was a matter of being able to speak enough Spanish to ask the proprietor what the dish of the day was, and being willing to eat what the locals eat. I eat like this in Latin America, and I’ve never had problems, so I’d remove that worry immediately. All the places I ate at were consistently good, and very straight-forward with their prices. The dishes themselves are unique in terms of the herbs and spices, as well as simplicity, while the flavors are strong and fresh. I swear I never had the same mate (tea) from a restaurant more than twice in my time there, and that truth lends itself to a practical study of exactly how many different greens they brew up.

To eat these 4-course meals, ajust ask around with locals as to the usual prices for a menu del dia for almuerzo at a local restaurant. Feel free to name a price equal to $3USD or $4USD when asking so that you’re sure you’re looking for the real local fare. Be aware that a place like Buenos Aires, Argentina is probably going to have more like $5USD almuerzos versus Sucre, Bolivia where they’ll be around $2. Here are some of the cheap local lunches I enjoyed in Peru.

Peruvian Dishes & Desserts

A full 5-course lunch, minus the tiny dessert.

A full 5-course lunch, minus the tiny dessert.

What typical Peruvian soup looks like.

What typical Peruvian soup looks like.

Chicken cooked in red wine reduction.

Chicken cooked in red wine reduction.

Garlicky potatoes and salty beef with rice, plus an appetizer.

Garlicky potatoes and salty beef with rice, plus an appetizer.

Chicha Morada!! Que rico.

Chicha Morada!! Que rico.

Dessert: a $0.15 street cookie.

And if you decide not to eat at the local joints, there are a ton of touristy places which offer stupendous food, albeit at 5-10 times the price. These are their stories.

A really fantastic $7 appetiser.

A really fantastic $7 appetiser.

Lomo Saltado sandwich, $5 (Expensive for Cusco).

With most tourist menus in Peru, they’ll throw in a free mini pisco sour.

Lava cake, anyone?

Lava cake, anyone?


The Drinks

Latin American coffee is also on offer throughout the continent, and is especially popular if the beans were sourced locally.

Vietnamese Iced coffee.

Vietnamese Iced coffee.

Affogato (espresso + ice cream)

Cappuccino

Mostly-foam iced latte.

Hot chocolate with an espresso shot and a free chocolate sample.

Hot chocolate with an espresso shot and a free chocolate sample.

Now I’m still hungry, but at least my cravings are specific. What has been your favorite dish that you’ve eaten abroad?

Also Read  Vietnam Itinerary: 10 Days For Foodies
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