Our dinner party starts off with a great cocktail to put you in the mood, a Pisco Sour, the national drink of Peru. Ceviche, the most popular starter in Peru, goes fabulously with your Pisco Sour. How convenient! The main show is a double act, Peruvian Stuffed Peppers with Scalloped Potatoes. To finish up there is an encore performance from a dessert we featured in Patagonia, Dulce de Leche Crème Caramel. Crème Caramel is just as popular in Peru and dulce de leche is popular everywhere in Latin America, so why not?
We also briefly discuss the growing Peruvian wine scene. Although dwarfed by Chile and Argentina, it is an up and comer and a country you should keep your eye on. Peruvian wineries are starting to export to the world.
As we traditionally do at Compass & Fork, the last food article for a country is always the Dinner Party edition. For January, 2016 that is Peru. Home to a great fusion of many different culinary influences.
Peruvian Dinner Party, Fusion at its Best
If there is one word that sums up Peru it is “fusion”. The process or result of joining two or more things together to form a single entity. In Peru it is fusion of culture, a fusion of geography and a fusion of food. It is a very apropos word for Peru. And although many countries claim fusion as a word applying to their food, I can’t think of another country where there have been so many different culinary influences and for such long periods of time.
It’s not just the influence of neighboring countries, it’s also the influences of all the major continents. North and South America, Europe, Asia and even Africa. They all play a significant part on the cuisine of Peru. I find the Asian influence (primarily Chinese and Japanese) absolutely fascinating. You can read more about Peruvian culinary influences here.
Perhaps the most multi-cultural of dishes we have featured about Peru is Lomo Saltado. It grieves me that this dish is not in our Peruvian themed dinner party. It might just be the most surprisingly good stir-fry you ever have. But the fact is that Peruvian stuffed peppers and scalloped potatoes work beautifully together and how could you feature a Peruvian dinner party without including potatoes? I mean, honestly!
However, if you are looking for a quicker dinner party then go right ahead and include the rather eclectic Lomo Saltado instead of the Peruvian stuffed peppers and scalloped potatoes. You won’t be disappointed.
Peruvian Wine Selection
Consumers around the world know how good Chilean and Argentine wines are. With Peru to the north of Chile, does it have anything comparable to offer?
Like Argentina and Chile, wine growing was introduced by the Spanish in the 16th century. It was in fact, quite prolific in the late 19th century. However, land used for vineyards reduced by 98% by the 1980’s. The cause? Pests, politics and a devastating war with Chile all played a part.
But since the 1980’s, great strides have been made. Varieties like Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Muscat, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are being cultivated, along with Torrontes, Pinot Grigio and Malbec.
Wine growing conditions in Peru are very similar to neighboring Chile. And with advice coming from overseas vignerons the outlook for the Peruvian wine scene is very optimistic. There is also a steady market of young professionals in Lima becoming more interested in wine and there is growing tourism from European and American visitors looking for the next great wine destination. You can read more about Peruvian wine here.
We enjoyed a number of good wines in Peru but they are still breaking into overseas markets. We did try this rather good Peruvian Malbec and you may be able to source it in the US and Australia and possibly other countries. If you can’t source it, I would recommend a good Argentinian Malbec instead.
So enjoy your Peruvian dinner party and please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below either about our menu selections or Peruvian meals you have enjoyed or made.
Like the idea of country-themed dinner parties? Here are some others we have featured in the past:
- Turkish Dinner Party
- Italian Dinner Party
- Patagonian Dinner Party
- Vietnamese Dinner Party
- Melbourne Dinner Party
Want some travel information about Peru? Try here:
- Books, Cookbooks and Movies featuring Peru
- Secrets of the Sacred Valley
- Walking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
- What makes Lake Titicaca so Special?
- An Introduction to the Highlights of Amazing Arequipa
- Getting Around Peru (publishing on 29 January)
Peruvian Dinner Party Menu
To access the recipe click on the highlighted name or the Picture
Not just the national drink of Peru but of Chile as well.
Match with another Pisco Sour
Entree (Main Course)
Match with a Santiago Quierolo Intipalka Malbec or a good malbec from Argentina