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Peru: The Cuisine of the Northern Coast


Peru is home to a very long Pacific coast. Archaeologists believe that the first surfers in the Americas were indigenous Peruvians, specifically the Chimu people, who were also known as skilled seafood cooks. The northern coast of this country is known to be a place where the cuisine focuses on what the Pacific Ocean has to offer. Due to the warmer climate of this region, life tends to be slower and people are more relaxed, which is clearly reflected in the Peruvian flavors that come from the northern coast.

The first thing to know about Peruvian food from the north coast is that this is where the national dish originated. Other coastal regions of Peru have tried to claim that ceviche, the most delicious seafood cocktail of the Americas, originated in their kitchens, but gastronomy researchers have determined that the first recipe involving raw fish cured with lemon juice and spices came from the north coast. The three main ceviche variations of Peru are made with fish, scallops or mixed seafood.

Sudado and seco are two cooking techniques widely used in the north coast; sudado is a way of steaming fish while seco is a special reduction of beef. An interesting aspect of Peruvian cuisine from the north coast is that beer is used to prepare many dishes; it can be used as a marinade or as a reduction agent when cooking seco. One of the most elaborate regional dishes is “arroz con pato,” which is a special rice made with duck and other ingredients seasoned with dark beer; this is somewhat unusual because people of the northern coast mostly drink pale lagers but will certainly go dark when preparing their best dishes.

Finally, fried appetizers accompanied by exquisitely prepared sauces are Peruvian food staples of the northern coast, and they are often enjoyed with cold beer.

At La Costanera Restaurant in Montara Beach, you can enjoy Peruvian cuisine from the northern coast when tasting specialty dishes such as ceviche and seco. Even the ambiance of this Peruvian restaurant will transport you to the north coast since many of the tables face the Pacific Ocean.

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