Peruvian cuisine is one of the most famous cuisine around the world due to richness and variety of its dishes, which there are catalogued up to 491 traditional dishes, as well as more than 250 desserts.
First of all, as an exclusive feature of Peruvian gastronomy, there are food and flavours from 4 continents..
Origin and influences in Peruvian cuisine
Peruvian cuisine is the result of initial fusion of the culinary tradition of ancient Peru and its techniques, with Spanish cuisine.
Later there was a contribution of culinary customs brought from Africa by slaves. Later than that, was influenced by chefs who fled the French Revolution to settle in Peru.
But equally momentous was the influence of 19th-century immigration, which included Cantonese Chinese and Japanese . Finally and as a result of these were born the "Chifa" and "Nikkei" cuisine.
Nikkei & Chifa cuisine: Origins, tradition and miscegenation.
In 1899 the first Japanese landed on the Peruvian coast, leaving behind their country in full growth, but in which the peasants had to pay many taxes to work the land. For this reason they decided to try their luck working on the big Peruvian farms.
Later the number of emigrants grew quickly, counting in thousands, and soon they set out on new paths. Opening different types of businesses and building a new mestizo community.
The descendants of these emigrants are called nikkei, term which comes from nikkeijin, which defines all Japanese inmigrants.
This term was also used to name the recognized Peruvian-Japanes cuisine, of which one of the most representative dishes are the "tiraditos" (of which we will talk later in another article) or the octopus to olive.
Chifa is the term used in Peru to refer in the same way to the cuisine brought and adapted by Chinese immigrants, as well as to the restaurants where it is served.
Origins of Chifa cuisine.
Like the Japanese, the Chinese (called culi-es) emigrated to Peru in the mid-nineteenth century, to work on the big farms.
It should be added that there were clauses in the contracts, which obliged the contractors to allocate part of the salary to the cultivation of edible plants of Chinese origin for the workers. As a result, along with culinary techniques, this mixture between Chinese and Peruvian cuisine was promoted.
Later, those emigrants who stayed, settled in the cities and ran businesses dedicated to restoration, since previously many of them had been working as Chefs and servants.
Where the word "Chifa" comes from
The origin of “chifa” comes from of combination of Cantonese terms "chi" which means eat and "fan", which means rice. This term would have arisen in the 1930s among the people of Lima when they heard the Chinese use their voice "chifan” as a call to eat in the inns they ran.
The most representative dishes of the Chifa cuisine, for example we can name the "Lomo saltado", "Chaufa Rice" or "Taypa".
After this introduction and during the next entries we will discover the most representative dishes of Peru. As well as those that, being based on the Mediterranean cuisine, we elaborate using the Peruvian influence and the techniques of the Chifa and Japanese cuisine. This is based on the use of imported and local products for their preparation.