Lomo Saltado

Lomo Saltado

On paper Peruvian cuisine is confusing.  The Incas cultivated potatoes, quinoa, and dried beef (yes, beef jerky); the Spanish brought olives and rice; Africans made frying foods more popular;  Chinese immigrants brought soy sauce, ginger, and stir-frying methods; Italians brought pasta…the list goes on.  What you end up with are dishes like aji de gallina (a creamy chicken stew made with walnuts, hard boiled eggs and black olives), tallarines verde (spaghetti with a pesto sauce made with basil, spinach, and queso fresco) with a side of pollo saltado (a chinese chicken stir fry dish), and of course Lomo Saltado, a beef stir fry with french fries mixed in.

Lomo Saltado

Like I said, these dishes don’t sound cohesive, but there’s just something about Peruvian food, that however strange the dishes sound on the menu, once you take the first bite you’re blown away.  Somehow the flavors just work together, as if you took your favorite elements from each cuisine and mashed them up into something amazing.   Read More

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Peruvian Chicken Wings with Green Sauce

Peruvian Chicken Wings | Cravings & Crumbs

The summer before our last year of college J and I took a summer study abroad trip to Argentina.  In between many choripanes and bondiolas from street vendors, we ate at some really good restaurants.  One that was recommended by our teacher was Chan Chan, a little peruvian restaurant in an alleyway that was supposed to be the best in the city.  Come to think of it, there were a few restaurants that he praised as being lo mas bueno, but Chan Chan really did deserve it.  We had never tried peruvian food before, but between the free cancha (a toasted corn snack) and bistec encebollado we fell in love with the cuisine.

Peruvian Chicken Wings | Cravings & Crumbs

One common peruvian dish that Chan Chan didn’t have was whole roasted or grilled chicken.  Maybe it was just my experience in Buenos Aires, but I only remember having chicken once or twice the whole month – restaurants had all beef and a little pork.  It wasn’t until a little peruvian restaurant opened up near our apartment last year that we discovered peruvian chicken and the cilantro jalapeño “green sauce” they served it with.  The chicken was flavored with paprika, cumin, and garlic, and was tender enough to pull apart into shreds to dip into the sauce that was cool and spicy. Read More

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