We asked IE Director of Peruvian Operations Jorge Salas to talk to us about one of his true passions - Peruvian food!
Peruvians are passionate about food, and have been enjoying the rich diversity of their ocean, Andes and Amazon on their plates for millenniums. It is hard to see a recipe repeated in a Peruvian home in the course of a month. The recent recognition of Peruvian cuisine by the first world has Peruvian chefs showcasing modern fusion preparations across the country. Even though this new fusion cuisine if wonderful, it's often hard for visitors to access to the authentic Peruvian cuisine. Most travelers miss the opportunity to experience the true Peru through its food.
IE’s Amazon River expedition cruise includes 20 meals onboard its riverboat, two others on land and several snack services. This allows the Amazon Voyage to act as the perfect vehicle to present the true Peruvian food, including the modern mixtures of recent times, the old classics and the superb food that Peruvians enjoy on a daily basis. With IE you will meet the real Peru in multiple ways, including its cuisine.
The menu on board IE's new riverboat has been crafted to include the highlights from the Pacific coast, the Andes and of course, the Amazon. During the expedition, IE guests visit remote villages where local fresh ingredients are purchased to be served onboard. Yucas, hot peppers, avocados, herbs and the most diverse fruits find their way from the village gardens to the ship and are rapidly prepared and served. When fisherman are met, often their catch is also served and even guests get to help by fishing for piranhas during one of the excursions. (Which are served!)
The modern kitchen is run by two highly trained chefs. The menu was developed in coordination with the ship executive chef and can accommodate all special dietary requirements.
And the new riverboat's bar deserves special mention. Even though it carries an assortment of the finest spirits, liquors and South American wines, it has a concentration in drinks and cocktails based on Pisco, a fine brandy style spirit that is the base of Pisco Sour and Chilcano, Peru's national drinks. These classic recipes and versions including Amazon endemic fruits are offered daily (And all guests get to taste them during daily guides' receptions with complimentary drinks).
Some of the traditional recipes served:
- Heart of Palm Ceviche
- Papa a la huancaina
- Lomo Saltado
- Aji de Gallina
- Chicha morada
- Helado de lucuma
- Suspiro de limena
Some of the unique products you can taste:
- Multiple varieties of potatoes and other tubers.
- Several types of hot peppers and salsas
- Vegetables endemic to Peru
- Paiche (The biggest freshwater fish of the planet)
- Armored catfish (The amazon has over 2000 species of catfish and several find their way to the tables)
- Camu Camu
Many of these are fruits, and we serv others depending on the season. Guests typically sample these local foods in desserts, juices and/or jams.
Special thanks to our friends Bret and Mary from Green Global Travel for this photo!