Sunday, June 1, 2014

Best Vegetarian Foods to Try in Peru

As a vegetarian, I was initially a little anxious before embarking on this Peruvian adventure. Knowing that I most likely could not eat raw fruits or vegetables washed with tap water, I was curious to see how my gastronomic experience would be in Peru, and I can now say that it was more than enjoyable. Below I have compiled a list of the best vegetarian foods to eat in Peru and why:

1.       Quinoa (in all forms)
Quinoa is one of the main crops that is grown and cultivated in Peru and, therefore, it is widely used in Peruvian cuisine and I would highly recommend taking advantage of this fact. Quinoa also is high in nutrients and protein so it is great for you too! Personally, I enjoyed having quinoa soap at many meals, which essentially consists of a vegetarian broth, quinoa, cooked vegetables, and some spices and it is very delicious. Additionally, if you have time to visit Calle del Medio in Cusco, there is a scrumptious dish of spaghetti and quinoa and mushroom balls that will leave your taste buds wanting more and is very simple to cook at home if you simply ask the chef for instructions!
2.       Avocadoes
The avocadoes in Peru are much larger and more delicious than those typically found in the U.S. They are also used often in Peruvian dishes, in ways such as serving half an avocado stuffed with various vegetables (or chicken for non-vegetarians) or with other ingredients in sandwiches (see item #4). I would highly recommend having a few avocadoes in Peru, even if you are not a vegetarian!
3. Passion fruit
Passion fruit was definitely one of our group's favorite foods on this trip and, after having tried it, you can surely understand why. I particularly enjoyed having jugo de maracuya, or passion fruit juice, which can be found at nearly any restaurant or at juice bars that serve juices made of a variety of local fruits.
4.       Vegetarian Triple Sandwich

The vegetarian triple can be found in many restaurants and is a simple, yet satisfying, sandwich, usually consisting of avocado, tomato, and hard-boiled eggs stacked with three pieces of bread. It is usually a safe option at nearly any restaurant and is very delicious!


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