Olives are native to the coastal areas of the Mediterranean. Brought to Peru by the Spanish conquerors 500 years ago, today Olives are an important ingredient in the Peruvian cuisine.
The big and meaty Peruvian Aceitunas find their use in ground meat dishes like Papas Rellenas or Empanadas and as garnish on dishes like Papas a la Huancaina or Causa Limeña. They are added to salads and cream cheeses or cheese spreads. Quite often they are placed in a small bowl with some fresh bread on the table. Really delicious are olives filled with aji.
Short history of olives in Peru
One of the first olive plantations in Peru was today's Parque El Olivar in the district of San Isidro in Lima. In 1560 Don de Rivera brought some olive plants from Spain. Unfortunately only three survived the journey which he planted on his hacienda. Soon the olive trees grew and became a focal point of his hacienda. In 1730 around 2000 olives trees were counted, at the beginning of Republican times nearly 3000. Today Parque El Olivar is still home to around 1500 olive trees.