After holding the largest empire in pre-Columbian America what can be found today of this unique indigenous people? Artifacts and ruins are scattered across the fertile lands of modern-day Ecuador, Columbia, Peru, Argentina, Bolivia and Chile. Tribal feuds, civil war and the Spanish conquest would one day bring a downfall to the Incas. Yet, because the “purest” and most prominent of the tribal empire resided in the lands of modern-day Peru, many of their customs, traditions and culture can still be found vividly amongst the faces of the people who originate there.
Strangely enough I would come to learn that Rome is actually one of the largest populations of Peruvians outside the beautiful capital city of Lima. Exposure to this unique race of people affected me in a truly positive way. A new taste for their soon-to-be trendy cuisine, and a longing to one day visit the land was established.
*Popped, but not popped… A staple in Peruvian diet; corn or “mais” can be found in an array of dishes as garnish or even main components.**Aji “ah-hee” is a salsa-type sauce served on your table at most traditional Peruvian restaurants. The recipe will differ by family, restaurant or tradition and each is a delightful enhancement to your meal. Complex flavors and spices make decomposition of ingredients nearly impossible… some things are just that much more special when left unknown.*I have eaten my share of ceviche in my life, but no culture thus far has topped the Peruvians… Thickly chopped fresh cubes of snapper, marinated in lime juice, cilantro, ginger and tradition… nothing like a simple classic. Garnished with a half-cobb and boiled potato.* #myfavorite*Anticuchos is actually marinated, skewered beef heart. I’m not sure if this is the only way they serve the chewy greatness, but I only saw it like so. Served blanketed in a mustard sauce next to corn and potato, this starter screams Incan decadence.**Machu Picchu.*