Peruvian food is inspired by many foreign influences. A large part of Peruvian cuisine has African qualities. One of the most brilliantly crafted examples of African-Peruvian fusion cuisine is cau cau. Every food enthusiast who has not tried this dish should jet it to the top of the list.
What Is Cau Cau?
The original cau cau recipe is for a stew. The stew was traditionally made with tripe. However, modern recipes incorporate chicken, seafood or other ingredients. Cau cau is typically seasoned with cumin, red onions, turmeric, Peru’s famous yellow aji pepper paste, garlic and sometimes hierbabuena. The stew contains potatoes and peas. It is often served over rice. However, there are several variations of the dish. In many finer modern restaurants, cau cau is served as a savory sauce to complement different dishes made by top Peruvian chefs.
Origins Of Cau Cau
In centuries past, Spanish conquistadors brought over African slaves to Peru. Although they would later be known as the creative Creole culinary pioneers, the African workers managed to create dishes so delicious that they continued being made for centuries. They usually only had access to bits and pieces of food in the kitchens where they worked, which is what makes their delicious creations so impressive. Since meat and seafood was a rarity to receive, they originally used tripe and boiled it down with milk to cut the naturally overpowering flavor. With meat, potatoes, peas and basic seasonings as the ingredients, they managed to make a simple but scrumptious culinary masterpiece. Cau cau is just one of the many Peruvian-Creole and Peruvian-African dishes that show their creators’ passion for life and bold flavors in every bite.
Where To Find Authentic Cau Cau
Since many people do not like tripe, most cau cau sauces and stews today are made with chicken or seafood. The flavors in both are great when paired with the ingredients for the cau cau base. There is no need to travel to Peru to try delicious authentic or fusion cau cau creations. To try cau cau and many other traditional and modern Peruvian dishes, visit La Costanera Restaurant in Montara. With its Peruvian-born owner and head chef, multiple awards and ambient waterfront location, La Costanera is the top Peruvian Restaurant in the San Francisco area.