Arequipa, a mountain town, is off the beaten path for most tourists. So, it gives you the real feel of Peruvian life rather than planned tourist stops. Its cuisine is as authentic as its people and offers a tremendous experience in the culture.
The food of this area is slightly different from the rest of Peruvian cuisine because it holds fast to both its rural, mountain traditions and its colonial Spanish past. Spices rule in the meat dishes. Stews and soups offer culinary comfort in the mountain environment.
While fish is served more along Peru’s coast, primary meats in Arequipa are pork, beef and lamb. They also feature duck in their cuisine. The one seafood readily used is shrimp. All are used in stews and as main dishes. They also use vegetables common to farm life and readily available.
Adobo combines pork loin, onion, aji pepper and corn beer. Locro is a popular dish made with either beer or lamb and pumpkin. Also common is malaya frita, a browned beef brisket with onion sauce and fried cassava. One soup the town is known for is a white soup made with lamb loin, corn, garbanzo beans, potato, dehydrated potato called chuno and lots of spices.
As interesting as the food is, the way the people of the rural city cook it is just as fascinating. People eat in restaurants called picanterías, which combine the most unique aspects of fine dining with traditional rural cooking. Food is primarily cooked over a wood fire and the aromas of the seasonings fill the picanteria and flow into the streets. It is one of the most memorable moments of those visiting Peru.
Those wishing to experience this type of culture do not need to travel south of the equator. La Costanera Restaurant, located on Montara Beach, uses authentic ingredients and recipes to offer its guests the best Peruvian food. Come visit, eat, enjoy!