Peru is among the most geographically diverse nations on the planet. As a result, Peruvian food varies greatly from region to region. Though those who visit Peru often have the chance to sample seafood cebiche in coastal Lima or guinea pig cuy in the Andean Mountains, far fewer have the opportunity to experience the distinctive dishes consumed in the nation’s tropical rainforests.
Juane, a dish served to commemorate the feast of St. John the Baptist, is arguably the most iconic dish in Amazonian Peruvian cuisine. Juane contains many national staple ingredients, such as meat, rice, beans, olives, and hard-boiled eggs. Wrapped in tropical bijao leaves, this portable dish was traditionally served to travelers. Jungle crops, like yucca and bananas, are often served alongside the meal.
Equally exotic Peruvian flavors can be found in tacacho, a savory, mouth-watering dish made from pork belly chicharrones and fried, mashed plantains. The dish is most often accompanied by cecina, a dried, salty pork jerky.
Those who travel to the Peruvian jungle are often overwhelmed by the abundance of exotic fruits available for purchase. Banana lovers can even choose from well over a dozen different varieties of the fruit! Only the most adventurous visitors, however, can bring themselves to try suri, a type of larva that resides on rainforest trees. Those who have eaten the grubs, however, rave about their nutty flavor and creamy texture.
Though you might not have the opportunity to explore Peru’s tropical rainforests in the near future, you can certainly find the time to visit a local Peruvian restaurant! For those located in the San Francisco Bay Area, no option is better than La Costanera. At La Costanera Restaurant, diners can sample dishes inspired by the nation’s cultural and geographic diversity. For a taste of the ocean, order a fresh fish cebiche marinated in lime and spicy peppers. To sample Peruvian jungle cuisine, order a platter of fried chicharrones with a side of sweet plantains or yucca chips.
Whether you seek a taste of the jungle or a bite from the coast, you’re sure to leave La Costanera feeling full and satisfied.