Typical Peruvian Snacks
In general Peruvians love to snack! You can buy small plastic bags filled with all sorts of goodies from streets vendors around every corner, a habit many Peruvians can't break with when wandering around town, waiting for or traveling in the bus or to keep their children quiet. On markets, in bodegas and supermarkets you find a great variety of snacks. So the choice might be difficult. In rustic restaurants Peruvian bread rolls or snacks are served as a small welcome starter, in bars to accompany a Pisco Sour or beer. At home many Peruvians love to have different varieties of (hot) chips with spicy salsas. Mostly typical Peruvian noshes are around for centuries and use local ingredients like corn varieties, potatoes, beans, bananas or dried fruits.
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Cancha Salada is a popular snack in Peru already consumed by ancient cultures. Maiz cancha, a special corn variety, is roasted in some oil and then salted to get a delicious nosh that can be bought on the street or is served in some restaurants as welcome.
Like everywhere in the world, popcorn is mostly fancied by children. In Peru there are numerous "popcorn" varieties. It's not only made from the usual popping corn, but also from large kernels corns, Kiwicha or quinoa giving the good old popcorn a completely new, but interesting and very tasty touch.
Churros are not, like quite often stated, a donut-like Peruvian treat. Originating in Spain Churros are long sticks made of a choux pastry often potato based which is squeezed through a large star tip into hot oil and fried. In Peru they are often filled with Manjarblanco or vanilla cream and then rolled in a sugar cinnamon mixture.
Popular around the country, chifle can be bought with street vendors, at kiosks, bodegas, on the market or supermarket. Finely sliced green or ripe bananas are fried in oil and then seasoned with salt. Depending on the banana variety and the maturing of the banana the taste can be sweeter or more savory.
A few years back the Peruvian International Potato Center had the idea to promote native potatoes by using them to make colorful chips. At the same time this endeavor had a good side effect: providing a new income source for local agricultural communities in the Peruvian high Andes. Equally important, this project preserves part of the Peruvian biodiversity and culture.
Habas Saladas are a well-liked snack in Peru. Broad Beans are fried in a little bit of oil, causing the skin to split open. After removing the skins from the pan, they are salted and/or spiced with aji to produce a savory crunchy snack.
Maiz Cusco is a corn variety also called "giant corn mote of Cusco". The large size corn kernels are fried in oil and salted to get a tasty snack that is popular in the country.
Maná is produced of large sized corn kernels that are popped like "normal" popcorn and then infused in sugar. The result is delicious, sweet and crunchy popcorn with a unique flavor.
Wildly well liked in Peru are so called Mixtura Snacks, mixtures with changing local ingredients similar to "nuts and raisins". Depending on the ingredients available, Peruvian pasas (raisins), manis (peanuts), Nueces de Brasil (brazil nuts), habas saladas (salted broad beans), roasted corn varieties, Chifle (banana chips) or potato chips are used to make great tasting noshes.
Peru is well respected worldwide for its grapes. No wonder that Pasas or raisins are very popular in the country. Mostly consumed are Pasas Morenas, raisins made of black grapes, and Pasas Rubias, a sultana variety.
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