The Essential Street Food

You’re already traveling as a backpacker in one of the culinary capitals of the world. Peru’s food is touted as some of the most culturally diverse on the planet, and journeying from the north to south, east and west is one of the best ways to experience this gastronomic wonder. Although the food at Pariwana is good, don’t let our chefs keep you from the wonders of the cities’ offerings.

Sure, you can dish out a chunk of plata, but one of the best ways to experience the food is by eating like a local. Most everyone in Peru spends time standing around eating something from the street. Don’t let the travel health clinics back home scare you into thinking that dabbling in the street delicacy is a risk of the runs. Given, you have to be careful and make sure that whatever meat you’re eating is fully cooked (otherwise you’ll make short work of the grub and will have to visit the pharmacy, where you can buy pills individually).

Anyway, this article is meant to give you the low-down on the street pickings that you can find in most of Peru. If you’re in an ultra-touristy place like Cusco, you might want to ask a Peruvian customer of the street stand how much the food is so as not to get charge exorbitantly.

In any case, however, the money will be worth the experience. One of the most popular street foods you will find is available in many other Latin American countries as well; tamales. These are a humid mix of corn and various meats wrapped in a leaf. Sometimes they’re yellow, sometimes they’re orange, and always they’re mouth-watering and cheap.

Another Peruvian treat is the anticuchos. These are basically finger-food pickings that oftentimes come on a wooden stick. Cuts of chicken or beef are popular, marinated in special sauces. The rarer anticucho might have you thinking twice, but go ahead and try it before your mind convinces you otherwise; cow heart on a stick. The meat is usually sold with a potato and sometimes with a small salad. It’s GOOD.

Finally, the most popular desert street food that you’ll find is called picarones. These are rings of deep-fried dough served draped in delicious honey. Mmmmmm! The dough is sometimes made from sweet potato, but often it is made from a giant yellow squash. A sol on average will buy you three, unless you’re in a traveller’s hotspot.

These are just a few of the many, many pickings. The food changes from region to region and from city to city. Adventurous traveling means promoting adventurous culinary palettes!