I love that restaurants allow you to travel the world right in your own city. I’ve been interested in Peru ever since the Seattle Art Museum presented the Peru: Kingdoms of the Sun and Moon exhibit featuring Inca artifacts and treasures.
Before my visit to Mixturas, my knowledge about Peruvian cuisine could be summed up in one word: ceviche. I knew it was a traditional dish, but beyond that I was clueless about the country’s culinary culture. My curiosity fed my excitement to try Mixturas in North Seattle. While I had no other Peruvian restaurant to compare the food to, we had a wonderful experience. Our waiter (in a pleasantly thick accent) offered to guide us through the menu and explain the history of Peruvian cuisine, which is influenced by European, Asian, and West African cultures.
It also came with two different kinds of potato – a staple of Peruvian cuisine!
My favorite part of the meal came in a glass though. I tried a traditional purple drink called a Chicha Morada (made from purple corn, pineapple juice, and cinnamon!) It’s like nothing I’ve ever tasted. Not too sweet, totally unique, and really good. It’s worth a taste if you ever get a chance.
I did a little research to learn more about Peruvian cuisine. Here are a few fun facts:
1. Ceviche might as well be the national dish.
2. Guinea Pig, yes Guinea Pig, and Alpaca are popular meats.
3. Potatoes have their roots in Peru. (Sorry, Ireland!) Peruvian natives domesticated some 1000 varieties of potatoes before the Spaniards arrived.
4. Peruvian cuisine was influenced by the arrival of the Spanish conquers as well as Chinese, European, African, Indian and Japanese immigrants.
5. Corn and quinoa are staples in Peru.
6. Aji Pepper appears in all kinds of Peruvian dishes with its bright color and mild kick.
Have you ever tried Peruvian food? What’s your favorite dish?