In Peru, the holiday season starts on the first Sunday of December and continues until January 6; during this time, the mood across the country is very festive and family-oriented. It is not unusual for friends and relatives to travel across the vast regions of the country and get together at a Peruvian restaurant to enjoy seasonal dishes and a few drinks before preparing to celebrate Christmas and New Year’s Eve.
Many Regions, Many Peruvian Flavors
Peruvian food tends to be very elaborate; during the holidays, however, recipes get more traditional. The lower temperatures in the capital city of Lima call for hot chocolate and baked treats such as panetón, a spongy cake that features candied fruit. In the warm coastal region, people will snack on fried fish and beer while families in the Andes will feast on hearty meals such as roast pork and lamb. The Peruvian flavors of the Amazon during the holidays include fried river fish, baked hen that was previously marinated with herbs, spices and hot peppers.
The beverages of the holidays are also determined by the region. Midnight champagne toasts are traditional in the capital, hot chocolate is served on the coast if the nights turn cooler, a firewater infusion made with sweet corn is enjoyed in the Andes, and a warm plantain porridge is served in the Amazon.
The traditional Peruvian cuisine of the holidays is diverse enough for families to prepare completely different table spreads for Christmas and New Year’s Eve. It is important to note that Christmas actually starts on December 24 and extends well past midnight; smart families will leave brunch prepped for the next day and may accept invitations to enjoy dinner with neighbors or relatives.
If you have not yet experienced the many wonders of Peruvian food, visiting La Costanera Restaurant during the holidays is a wonderful introduction. For the good people of Peru, nothing is more important than being able to spend the holidays with loved ones while enjoying meals that have been lovingly prepared.