Celebrating Peruvian Cuisine; the Mistura Festival Lima

From September 7 till September 17, 2012, Lima is hosting for the 5th time one of the largest culinary festivals on the South American continent; the Mistura Festival. During these days over half a million people from Peru and abroad are expected to discover and enjoy the incredible culinary wealth of this South American country.

In the last couple of years Lima has claimed the title of culinary capital of South America and this festival is the ideal location for visitors to find out for themselves the culinary wealth of this amazing country. As a fact, many visitors will immediately recognize the fondness of Peruvians when it comes to food. Often the first question when encountered with a Peruvian host is; “so what is typical food from your country”, after which a long explanation follows about their favorite Peruvian dishes and the regions where these are best found.

Being such a large and diverse country, Peru can be divided into three different “culinary geographical areas”; the coast, the highlands and the jungle. Each of these regions has their own dishes, representing the ingredients and cooking styles of the region. This is what makes the Mistura Food Festival the ideal instrument to get a good grasp on Peruvian food and culture surrounding it in one amazing day of flavors and aromas. The Mistura Festival represents the entire Peruvian food spectrum; from the jungle dish Juanes to the roasted Guinea-pig from the highlands all the way to fresh ceviche from the coast.

The festival is open every day from 9am till 11pm and there are over 50 restaurants participating on top of another 70 food stands and 12 “rustic restaurants”. Among the restaurants one can find several recognized to be the best in the country and even the continent. Peru’s famous Chef, Gaston Acurio will be participating with his restaurant Astrid as well as other chefs with restaurants both in Peru and abroad. These restaurants will serve a collection of their signature dishes, all representing part of the Peruvian culinary traditions. The food stands are mainly focused on “street” food, a very important part of the Peruvian culinary scene. These stands are from all over the country and represent the day to day Peru; anticuchos, picarones, arroz con leche y mazamora and butifarras, all amazing snacks that can be found together at this festival. The rustic restaurants are typical restaurants that are specialized in “parrilladas” or Peruvian barbeques on open wood fires. Here one can find some of the best smoked and grilled meats in the country.

This year the focus of the festival is on the highland grain products such as Quinoa, Kiwicha and Cañihua. All these are grains that are more and more in demand in the international market due to their nutritional value and that have been used in the Peruvian cuisine for centuries. There will be different food exhibitions presented by national and international chefs all combined with live music and entertainment. Entrance tickets can be bought at the entrance or by presale and cost 20 Nuevos Soles for adults (US$8). The entrance fee does not include food; this can be paid for with tickets bought at the festival or a card that can be charged with credit and used to pay per consumption. The festival takes place on the “Campo de Marte” located beside the national stadium in Jesus Maria. In order to get there from Miraflores one can take one of the free buses departing Miraflores (Parque Kennedy) at fixed times or take a taxi for about 15 Nuevos Soles (US$6). A taxi will get you there in about 20 minutes.

For more information visit; www.mistura.pe

For more information about Peruvian food, please have a look at; www.loveperufood.com

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