Within the rich history of Peru, there is without a doubt the tale of one of the most powerful and advanced empires in South American history. The Incas flourished for hundreds of years and reached technological heights with their roads, astronomy, and beautiful cities like Machu Pichu. One of the parts of that empire that has lived on is in the Peruvian food traditions of today.
So when you taste authentic Peruvian flavors, you are eating the same ingredients and tastes created hundreds of years ago by that rich empire. They fished from the same ocean and rivers while growing many of the same vegetables from the bountiful land. Potatoes, corn, and squash were common in the Inca diet. They were also the first to cultivate the quinoa grain, which is seeing a return to popularity in modern food. What once was old is always new again when it comes to good cuisine.
There is a great, authentic Peruvian restaurant near Montara State Beach in California, and it is one of the most true to the real traditions of Peruvian flavors. Sometimes the preparation uses more modern techniques, but the flavors and the ingredients are consistent with those ancient customs. You’ll find more modern dishes like a selection of chicharones or their many different meat skewers, grilled over an open flame. However, you also find some things that hearken back even further in Peruvian tradition.
If you take a look at La Costanera Restaurant and check out their extensive menu, you see a lot of those ancient ingredients pop up in new and interesting combinations. Like their Creamy Kabocha squash soup with Peruvian corn, bringing together two Inca ingredients in a modern dish. Or maybe their Ensalada Nuovo Andina, which has a fresh, delicious flavor, and still incorporates toasted quinoa as a part of its combination. There are also the many traditional cebiches made with local seafood, just as the ancient Inca once pulled from the Pacific Ocean to feed their mighty emperors.