Go to Peru, See Machu Piccu, Then Eat Your Way through the Rest of the Country

Machu Piccu
Machu Piccu
Machu Piccu
This is a top restaurant run by Gustavo Acurio, one of the world's foremost chefs and the "godfather of Peruvian cuisine."

They arrive by the plane load, wearing hiking boots, backpacks and headbands.  "Machu Piccu?," the Peruvian customs official asks wearily.  And off they go to one of the world's most intoxicating sights -- and the mountaintop home of the nation's most famous site.

In the process, however, they are doing themselves a huge injustice.

For in their quest to follow the masses, many travelers to this South American nation roughly 10 times the size of New York might be neglecting what is its most valuable resource: Food.

Sign Up for E-News

Billing itself as the "gastronomic capital of the Americas," Peruvian cuisine is the forefront of a Latin revolution in kitchens everywhere.  It is Incan tradition fused with Spanish colonialism, lightly tossed in a vinaigrette of Afro-Asian culture and sautéed in imagination as fertile as the land from which its innumerable produce comes from.

A temperate climate, rich soils, lengthy coastline and diverse geography bordered by the Andes mountains mean freshness and variety. It boasts 3,000 different varieties of potato. Ancient grains such as quinoa have now become a staple. 
Ceviche might be the most famous dish but on a recent week-long trip, I enjoyed "cuy pekines" -- guinea pig -- alpaca and more vegetables than I probably had eaten the entire previous year.  Even rock moss and flowers will find their way into dishes, although what arrives on your plate wouldn't look out of place in the Museum of Modern Art. 

"Everything that is edible, we try to use in our creations," one chef told me.

While its restaurants continue to win awards and its chefs continue to win praise, the big winners might be its nearly 30 million people, imbued with an awareness of nutritious -- and inexpensive -- eating.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

East Brunswick

Rep. Watson Coleman Urges Support for Students Participating in Protests: Letter to Local School Officials Asks for Encouragement Rather Than Punishment

March 16, 2018

EWING, NJ – Today, Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ) sent letters to principals and other school administrators in New Jersey’s 12th Congressional District urging support and encouragement for students who engage in protests and demonstrations for gun violence prevention amid reports that some New Jersey schools had suspended or otherwise punished students for their ...

Upcoming Events

Fri, March 23, 8:00 PM

State Theatre New Jersey , New Brunswick

Motown the Musical

Arts & Entertainment

Sat, April 7, 2:00 PM

State Theatre New Jersey, New Brunswick

A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder

Arts & Entertainment

East Brunswick Public Library Hosts “The Jews of Tsarist Russia and Bessarabia Before the Holocaust” Program

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - East Brunswick Public Library (2 Jean Walling Civic Center) presents the fifth installment in the series “The Jews of Eastern Europe Before The Holocaust” on April 8 at 2:30 pm.

“The intent of the series is to bring to light the legacy of my Jewish ancestors, prior to their annihilation during the Shoah,” said Dr. Michael G. Kesler, ...

Need a Passport? Save Money by Getting It Before April 2

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ—If you are planning to get a new United States passport, you can save $10 by submitting your application at the East Brunswick Public Library (2 Jean Walling Civic Center) before Monday, April 2.

The cost of a passport’s execution fee is rising from $25 to $35. The fee increase is mandated by the Department of State for any passport application submitted to ...

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote (Random House, 1965)


In Cold Blood is, quite simply, the grand-daddy of true crime writing, dubbed by Capote, himself, as the first non-fiction novel (although Norman Mailer argued the point when he published The Executioner's Song in 1979.) The conditions under which I read In Cold Blood for the first time were pretty weird, which was another ...

Ian Hockley Visits New Jersey to Introduce Program to Empower Youth

This week I am taking a departure from book reviewing to share an important program that has been introduced to New Jersey this week by Mr. Ian Hockley, founder of the Dylan's Wings of Change Foundation. On December 14, 2012, Hockley's five year old son, an autistic child named Dylan, was gunned down in his classroom in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Dylan, a shy and adorable ...

'Trying' explores age, youth and points of history in poignant production

‘Trying’ explores youth, age and points of history in poignant production

By Liz Keill

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – The George Street Playhouse presents an engrossing, two-character play based on the real life of Francis Biddle, former Attorney General.

Biddle, a Harvard educated lawyer, served under Franklin Roosevelt and later Harry Truman during the Nuremberg Tribunal. His ...