“Eat well, eat healthy, eat Peruvian”
is a theme of the Mistura food festival in Peru held every year in September. Latin America’s largest fête of the gastronomic world, la Mistura (“mixture” in English) is a cultural celebration that honors a country rich in biodiversity, sophisticated in temperament, and embracing of bold flavors and international flare.
The Mistura festival is coming into it’s 6th year but Peru’s transformation as a foodie hotspot didn’t happen overnight. Flanked by Ecuador, Bolivia, Brazil, and Chile, this country has a long coastline and an abundance of seafood from the Pacific Ocean. The Humboldt Current provides a cold, year long water stream and a strong fishery for one of Peru’s most cherished dishes: ceviche. “Cooked” from the acid in citrus, ceviche in its various forms is a must do in Peru. There are hundreds of varieties of potatoes found in Peru and while it is up for debate as to where the potato originated (Chile also lays claim to the tater), one cannot deny the presence of the potato in many first course and entrée dishes.
Anticuchos are also a staple of the Peruvian food economy. Marinated sticks of meat typically served as an appetizer, the most traditional anticuchos are made out of beef heart. Another great Peruvian culinary score of note: the chifa dish. Peruvian-Chinese food has become integrated in Peru’s history after an influx of Chinese immigrants to the country in the mid to late 19th century. Many of the country’s stir fry dishes and main meals served over rice are evolved from the Chinese influence. Most recently, there has been a Japanese bent to many Peruvian dishes which will also be seen at the Mistura festival this September in Lima. Featuring different “worlds” of Peruvian cuisine and other parts of Latin America, la Mistura is truly a mixture of the past, the present, and the future of what this delicious country has to offer.
Zephyr Adventures is taking food enthusiasts on a Taste Tour of Peru September 7-13, 2014. Among other activities planned, guests will visit the Mistura festival, dine at Astrid and Gastón, Latin America’s #1 restaurant, and learn how to cook Peruvian dishes from a local chef in Cusco.