Peruvian Food FestivalDo you know that, besides Ceviche, grilled chicken too is staple food of Peru. I didn’t know that until last week, when I had dinner, at Café, the all-day dinning at Hyatt Regency, New Delh. Here, Chef Bruno Santa Cruz from Park Hyatt Istanbul showcased the first ever Peruvian food festival in association with Embassy of Peru.

Peruvian cuisine has lot of influence from immigrants of Europe (Spanish , Italian and German), Asia( Chinese and Japanese). The four staples of traditional Peruvian cuisines are corn, potato, and other tubers, Amaranthaceaes (Quinoa, Kañiwa and kiwicha) and legumes (beans and lupins). Rice, wheat and meat came from Spanish cuisine.

Peruvian cuisine uses lot of fruits in their food. The salads which we tried had lot of fruits like mango, papaya and others. It is also said that Chilli which is native to America, are extremely popular in Peru. They have several varieties of chillis that are grown in their farms and Chef Abhishek shared that these chillis have different and unique flavours. The cold papaya salad had lot of peru chilli paste and they were not hot and went well with the salad.

Peru food comprises a lot of raw meats/fish and even raw vegetables. The mushroom salad which we tried had chopped raw mushrooms and tasted good. Ceviche, their staple food which is made of fresh seafood is also very popular in the coastal region of Latin America. As ceviche contains raw meat/fish, it is freshly made to avoid the risk of food poisoning. Interestingly ceviche has been declared as part of National Heritage of Peru and June 28th is celebrated as national ceviche day, held yearly in Peru to commemorate the dish so ingrained in the country’s national heritage it commanded a day in its honor.

It was a bloggers table where Chef Bruno Santa Cruz not only served food that he prepared, but also explained about Peruvian food. The cold salads and the ceviche were absolutely delicious, specially the fish and mushroom salad. In the mains, I loved the creamy chicken that was cooked with dry fruits. It was absolutely finger licking. I would love to go for the lamb, here again!

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