A Taste of Peru: Sumaq Peruvian Food Festival
The summer is a great time to take a dream vacation and explore the world, but it’s not always so easy to get away. However, summer can still be a great time to explore other cultures without ever leaving in New York! Many events, such as the Sumaq Peruvian Food Festival at the Aviation Museum in Long Island, can be a great way to experience other cultures and cuisines. We visited the Sumaq festival this year, and thought it was an amazing experience. Our favorite Peruvian dishes are below:
Anticuchos is a traditional Peruvian delicacy, consisting of marinated and grilled cow heart. Although it may seem a bit intimidating to many Americans, Anticuchos is a commonly found on street carts throughout Peru, where locals line up to buy it. Anticuchos is typically served with aji (hot sauce) and a side of boiled potatoes. This dish has a great, pork-like flavor and pairs well with hot sauce! We sampled the Anticuchos from El Cortijo, and we would recommend you do the same!
Arroz Con Pollo
Arroz con pollo is a Peruvian-style chicken and rice dish, made with white meat, which is a healthy alternative to the heavy meats that are typical of Peruvian meals. This dish is cooked in a beer broth, and seasoned with cilantro. The arroz con pollo is also served with a side of boiled potatoes and is covered in a huancaina sauce. We tasted El Pregon’s version of this dish, which was juicy and flavorful!
Picarones are “Peruvian Donuts” which are primarily made of sweet potato and squash. They are served warm and covered with a honey-like dipping sauce. Although these donuts are made from vegetables, you would never know it after tasting them! The Picarones we tried are from Delizioso Pizza Grill in Patterson, NJ, and are a surprisingly light dessert to enjoy in the summer heat.
Pachamanca, which means “food of the earth”, is a dish that is cooked in the ground with the heat from hot stones. It is a traditional meal in the mountains of Peru, and typically includes lamb, beef, or pork, and any vegetables that are available. Due to the slow style of cooking, the meat is very tender and the vegetables are full of flavor. We sampled the Long Island Valentino’s version of this traditional meal, which was probably our favorite dish of the day.
Cicha Morada is a common Peruvian drink that is made with the purple corn originating in the Peruvian Andes. The purple corn is boiled in water with pineapple and cinnamon, allowing all of the flavors to mix. After the flavors have leached into the water, the pineapple and corn are removed. The water is then a
llowed to cool, and is ready to drink. This sweet refreshment is perfect for a hot summer day!