Each year on the second Sunday in September, Peruvians celebrate the Dia de la Cocina y Gastronomia Peruana (Day of the Peruvian cuisine and gastronomy) recognizing the importance and value of the diverse local cuisine in the country and abroad.
The Peruvian cuisine is among the most varied and best in the world. It's a reflection of the abundance of natural resources in its three main geographical zones - the coast, the Andean highlands and the jungle - and a fusion of influences and cooking techniques from various indigenous ancient civilizations, different times and many immigrant cultures.
While the Peruvian cuisine only gained international popularity over the past decade thanks to a new generation of Peruvian chefs that redefined the local cuisine and made Peru, and here especially Lima, the unofficial gastronomic capital of the world, into a Mecca for food lovers, for the normal citizen food and its preparation is an important part of the local culture and a very personal way to express the Peruvian identity.
Today the Peruvian cuisine combines ancient staples, cooking techniques and dishes from pre-Colombian civilizations and the Incas with the Spanish, Basque, African, Asian and French, Italian and British cuisine which immigrants over the past 5 centuries brought with them; a unique fusion of the culture, traditions and flavors of four continents in which all parts coexist or melt in harmony and even enrich another.
Next to foreign influences and ethnic diversity, the Peruvian cuisine is also characterized by Peru's unique climates and landscapes. Each region, each town, has its own local dishes and culinary treasures, depending on geography and climate that provide different ingredients native to each area.
The Day of the Peruvian cuisine and gastronomy for years coincided with the Mistura, once the largest and most important food festival in Latin America held in Lima. As visitors could there get a glimpse of the impressive Peruvian biodiversity, discover the large variety and facets of the Peruvian cuisine and enjoy the culinary treasures of the different regions of Peru, it was the ideal place to celebrate. Unfortunately, since 2018 the Mistura seems to be history.
But lots of other smaller food events take place across the country and many restaurants in Lima and other cities offer special (tasting) menus or other goodies on this special day.