Peruvian cuisine has a tradition of thousands of years stretching from the Inca culture to this day and it has been enriched by influences from Spain and from Chinese, Japanese and African immigrants.
Peru is a country extremely rich in history and in the variety of its cuisine. The foreign influences have affected the original Inca cookery that was already ample based on geographic diversity. Depending on the region, there is a wide variety of available foods that originate in the sea, food adapted to the environmental conditions of the Andes, and the vast variety of food products offered by the Amazon rainforest and its rivers.
Peru has about 2000 edible marine and freshwater species of fish and shellfish. At least 2500 varieties of potato genetic resources have been identified in the Andean region. There are about 600 varieties of fruits, 150 varieties of corn, several kinds of tomatoes and chillies, etc. This huge range of resources has allowed the development and description of no less than 490 different typical dishes.
Peruvians are well aware of this and in October 2007, Peruvian Cuisine was declared cultural heritage of the Peruvian nation. Each year takes place in Lima a National Gastronomy Fair called Mistura that celebrates the cuisine from all regions of Peru. Restaurants showcasing Peruvian cuisine have sprouted in many countries not only in South America, but also in North America and Europe. International culinary websites include extensive sections of typical Peruvian recipes.
Samples and tastings of Peruvian dishes can also be found in public places such as plazas and parks in Lima. Digital Journal visited a Food Fair which takes place every weekend from 9 AM to 9 PM on the waterfront of the Rimac River, just two blocks from the Presidential Palace. The photos below show part of the colourful variety of foods offered.