Over the past few years, Peru has definitely become the hot gourmet travel destination. Serious foodies from across the world have been looking to Peru for inspiration. With that in mind, we decided to chat with Vanesa Fedak of Bravo! Gourmet Sandwich to get her take on a Peruvian-style Father's Day celebration.
According to Fedak, "the way that we celebrate Father's Day is definitely around food. That's a day when mothers like to cook for the father and the rest of the family or you take the opportunity to try a new restaurant. Lima as a city keeps growing, and there are new restaurants opening every day." Unfortunately, Lima is a long trek from South Florida. However, that doesn't mean we can't host our own Peruvian barbecue, or parrillada, at home. Here's how.
Like other styles of South American barbecue, Peruvians generally start with chorizo (sausages) and bread. These are cooked over charcoal -- they're kind of like the brats and buns of the Midwest but spicy.
From there, it is common to move on to anticuchos. This is a traditional dish of beef hearts marinated in panca chili and grilled on a skewer. Delicious! Other common options include pork, chicken, and of course beef.
Says Fedak: "I remember doing simple parrilladas at my grandmother's house on a Sunday. We would gather lots of friends and family together, and everyone would participate. Now in recent years, people are starting to make more fusion foods by adding more gourmet ingredients like seafood and vegetables, but the one I described first are the ones I remember doing as a child and the ones I still do now."
The selection of grilled meats is usually accompanied by traditional side dishes. The most ubiquitous is papas al huancaina: boiled potatoes with huancaina sauce. The sauce is composed of aji amarillo (hot yellow chili) and queso fresco (farmer's cheese) cream sauce. This is usually served alongside "choclo" (peruvian corn) and different types of ajies (chili sauces) made from aji amarillo and rocoto, according to Fedak.
What do Peruvians drink at these get-togethers? "We drink pisco, the traditional drink of Peru. It's a grape brandy produced in the winemaking regions of Peru," says Fedak. The national cocktail is the pisco sour, made with lime juice, syrup, egg whites, and angostura bitters. Recently, this cocktail has been the subject of an intense dispute between Peru and neighboring Chile. Both countries claim the beverage as their own. "They made a complaint with the World Trade Organization," Fedak says, "and it was determined that Peru is the place of origin for this liquor."
Follow Clean Plate Charlie on Facebook and on Twitter: @CleanPlateBPB.