10 unmissable dishes of the gastronomy of Cusco

Gastronomía de Cusco

Talking about Peruvian cuisine is talking about its typical dishes, recognized for their wide variety and worldwide recognition. Gastronomic tourism in Peru goes hand in hand with the awards obtained internationally, having the most delicious foods in the world and Cusco is no exception in this culinary variety.

Cusco gastronomy stands out for the use of traditional autochthonous foods rich in carbohydrates such as potatoes, corn and quinoa. Likewise, for the different types of chili peppers and various types of meat such as guinea pig, alpaca, chicharrón, ram, among others.

In addition, we cannot forget that the seasoning is in charge of giving the special flavor to each typical Cusco dish.

Here we will teach you how to know each of the 10 most traditional dishes of this historic city:

Chiri Uchu: The typical flag dish of Cusco

The Chiri Uchu is considered the traditional flagship dish of Cusco and considered the star culinary art of Corpus Christi.

Chiri Uchu means cold chili or cold hot pepper in Quechua. This food has a mixture between the coast, the mountains and the jungle, having its origins in the time of the Incas, in the Tahuantinsuyo.

The ingredients used for its preparation are: toasted white corn, cheese, guinea pig, chicken, jerky, jerky, cochayuyo, fish egg and rocoto.

Chiri Uchu - Gastronomía de Cusco

Fried Trout: The traditional of country environments

The traditional Cusqueña fried trout is made from fish, it can be prepared from river trout or sea trout.

This typical dish is eaten fried, with rice, cassava, and if you want you can add Creole sauce. It is very easy to find it in all the restaurants in the Imperial city.

Whoops! Generally, the country restaurants that are located around the city of Cusco and close to the rivers stand out for the freshness of the trout, usually freshly caught.

Trucha Frita - Gastronomía del Cusco

Chairo: Cold in Cusco? A chairo to warm up

Chairo is a delicious Andean soup, traditional in Cusco. Chairo is a name of Quechua and Aymara origin that means “type of food.”

This traditional Cusco soup is consistent and was prepared for the peasants, who walked for hours in the direction of their jobs since they need a meal that does not spoil.

For this reason, they used ingredients that facilitate its preparation and duration, such as chuño, which is the base for its preparation, lamb meat, dehydrated beef, sweet potatoes, peas, carrots, broad beans, mint, oregano, parsley, cumin, and salt.

You already know, if you are in Cusco and you feel cold, a hot Chairo can help you warm up.

Chairo - Gastronomía de Cusco

Quinoa soup: A typical “light” dish for high altitude

In Cusco there is a great variety of soups, many are made from wheat, quinoa and/or pumpkin.

One of the favorites for tourists when they visit the city of Cusco is the Quinoa Soup: very light and delicious, recommended to be consumed in cold seasons. In addition, quinoa is a food that has grown worldwide due to its great contribution to nutrition.

If you have just arrived in the Inca City and you are in the process of acclimatization to avoid the consequences of Soroche, the Quinoa Soup is a great option because it does not burden digestion.

Sopa de Quinua - Gastronomía de Cusco

Baked Cuy: The traditional Andean dish

One of the most emblematic inputs of the Peruvian highlands, especially in Cusco, is the Guinea Pig.

The guinea pig is a very important food for the realization of this dish. First it must be totally clean to be able to put it in boiling water. Then it is seasoned with all the condiments and at the end it is placed in an oven for its preparation.

This typical meal can be served with rice, potatoes, Creole salad and fried yuquitas. Do not forget that to drink you can choose chicha de jora or morada, typical drinks of Peru.

Cuy al Horno - Gastronomía de Cusco

Kapchi de setas: The typical appetizer of the farms of Cusco

Mushrooms were highly respected foods by the Incas and to this day continue to conquer the most exquisite palates in the world.

This dish is consumed in winter times to replenish the human body in the cold of the mountains. It is a nutritious dish and considered a good option for vegetarians.

Its ingredients are mushrooms, broad beans, onion, panca chili, potatoes, olive oil, milk, cheese and huacatay.

Kapchi de Setas - Gastronomía de Cusco

Chicharrón Cusqueño: The representative flag of the town of Saya in Cusco

Chicharrón is one of the typical dishes most sought after by tourists when they visit Cusco and much more from the Cusco town of Saya.

Pork meat is cooked with its own fat, which is the reason for its peculiar flavor. The dish is served accompanied by mote and criolla sauce. It should be noted that chicharrón began to be sold in 1927 and 1928.

Chicharrón Cusqueño - Gastronmía de Cusco

Corn with cheese: A traditional snack from the corners of Cusco

If you are in Cusco and you fancy a short snack, the traditional Choclo with cheese will always be within your reach at every corner.

Although it is one of the easiest dishes to prepare in the city of Cusco, the quality of the corn is decisive for its flavor:

The best corn can be found in the Sacred Valley of the Incas located in Urubamba, which has an important historical value. This typical dish is one of the most important in Peruvian gastronomy and is served as a starter. The flavor is a mix between sweet (corn) and salty (cheese).

If sudden hunger strikes, don’t hesitate to try this traditional snack.

Choclo con Queso - Gastronomía de Cusco

Baked suckling pig: The inevitable of the typical patron saint festivities

The Lechón al Horno Cusqueño, unlike the chicharrón, is smaller. In Cusco, it is one of the traditional dishes and is offered in all restaurants in the city.

The preparation consists of seasoning all the suckling pig both inside and out with salt, pepper, cumin, ground garlic, mustard, oregano, chicha de jora, fresh yellow chili pepper, ground mirasol chili pepper and ground panca chili pepper.

Then it is left to rest one day and the next it is placed in the oven.
This typical dish, although it is heavier for digestion, is an option that will certainly not disappoint.

Lechón al Horno - Gastronomía de Cusco

Zarza de patitas: The classic accompaniment to the Cusco seasoning

Zarza de Patitas is an exquisite dish from the navel of the world. They can easily find it in Picanterías located throughout the city.

The main ingredient for its preparation are pig’s feet. You also need onions, garlic, bay leaf, canchán potato, tomato, vegetable oil, parsley, mint, pepper and oregano to taste.

Although Cusco gastronomy is very wide and there are many more foods, this was our selection of the 10 Typical Cusco Dishes that you cannot stop trying. If you liked this article and want to continue learning more about everything you can find in Cusco and your way to Machu Picchu, we invite you to read our article about Aguas Calientes.

Zarza de Patitas - Gastronomía de Cusco



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