With the Spanish Conquest of Peru, beginning in 1532, many new foods were introduced to the Inca, such as beef and citrus. The Inca in turn introduced many foods to the Spanish and to the world! The Spanish took these native foods from Peru such as potatoes, tomatoes, and corn to Europe and chilies to Asia forever changing the way the world cooks.
During the Spanish colonial period, many traditional Spanish recipes were prepared using native ingredients, such as corn, sweet potato, yucca, and bananas.
Over time, a number of different groups settled in Peru, such as the African, Chinese, and Japanese immigrants. Each one added something to the Peruvian menu.
One of the most important ingredients during the pre-Hispanic times was the maize and it was prepared toasted or simply boiled in water and on special occasions it was prepared into a bread and humitas (sweet and salty tamales).
Peru has more Chinese restaurants than any other country in Latin America. Between 1849 and 1874, 100,000 Chinese immigrants came to Peru resulting in Latin American-Asia culinary fusion.
The food served in most of these restaurants is from the region of Canton, but in recent years, foods from Beijing, Shanghai, and Szechwan have also been included. Now, every grocery market in Peru hosts a section of Chinese ingredients that are mixed with the local ingredients and seafood from the Peruvian ocean, which results in some of the most exquisite dishes.
There are many things to do and discover when you travel to Peru. Visit the archaeological sites, historic monuments, the three natural regions, and do not forget to enjoy the authentic traditional meals.