T he city of Lima is a bustling metropolis of over ten million people with a cultural eclectic mix of influences from across the globe including Spanish, Japanese, Italian, African and Chinese immigrants. Over the past centuries they have influenced the creation of food from a diverse natural ecosystem spanning Peru and today that has led to the country being at the pinnacle of culinary achievement. Lima competes and regularly wins with the world’s best restaurants in the World Top 50 List. How? The answers can be found by taking the best gastronomic food tour of Lima.

We begin the day being collected and whisked away to Tostaduria Bisetti a small coffee roastery located in the Bohemian district of Barranco a short ride away from Miraflores. Towards the end of the decade of the fifties, in the city of Lima, Rómulo Bisetti, a Peruvian descendant of Italian immigrants, opened a small coffee roastery located in the Chamaya jirón 782, in the district of Breña. You will learn the natural process of coffee production today with their home-produced Peruvian coffee beans and savour the delicious local pastries, sandwiches, Affogato coffee desserts and be sure to try the sweet potato cakes. Local ingredients entwined with love and passion to make the very best foods possible.

Following on from this the tour visits the main architectural sites of Barranco including the church which is an on-going renovation project that appears never to near completion!  The next gastronomic option however is called La Bodega Verde in Barranco. This a wonderful peaceful little chic escape. The understated entrance was also somehow enticing, luring us in with a music-filled garden softly lit was string lights and scented with the smell of freshly bloomed flowers. It had a very laid-back vibe with good music and fresh, delicious food. The menu is also available in English with many vegetarian options available, be sure to try the amazing organic coffee.

Your vehicle then begins the journey from Barranco to the local market in Miraflores. En- route the guide explains in detail the prominent chefs which go to shape the amazing journey that has lifted Peruvian cuisine over the past two decades. Celebrities such as Gaston Acurio, Pedro Miguel Schiaffino, Virgilo Martinez, Rafael Oesterling and so many more that have paved the way for yet further development and possibilities for the routes of Peruvian food on a world stage. Peru holds 28 of a possible 32 world micro-climates, and this combined with diverse food heritage, has been the seed-bed of food creation that has led to see the world take notice of the amazing offerings of Peruvian food. The diverse ingredients are readily sampled once you arrive to the local market and your welcoming host explains the secret foods in a blaze of colourful fruit and vegetables. Moments like this make this where travellers learn directly from local people serve to make this the best gastronomic food tour of Lima. Incidentally myself and my wife know this market well as we live just a few hundred meters away!

Next stop is a local restaurant where it is your turn to take centre stage in learning how to create the core ingredients of any Peruvian cuisine a budding chef needs. The pisco sour drink and the ceviche fish dish are at the core of what it means to be Peruvian. First out is the Pisco sour and we get a demonstration from an expert bar tender and the have the fun of trying to make it for ourselves, it seems easier than it looks but tastes delicious. Pisco is a brandy produced in both Peru and Chile, but Peruvians are adamant that theirs is the original! To create a Pisco sour you need pisco, lime juice, simple syrup and egg white. Of course, the group display great gusto with the cocktail shaker.

The ceviche is demonstrated by a local chef and we follow suit to varying degrees of success and the fun and laughter of making mistakes is what this is all about. This dish has been described as a citrus cocktail and it is refreshingly zesty for a warm summer day. The main ingredient is raw white fish marinated in citrus juice and spices; the acid in the juice essentially cooks the fish and yet maintains the flavours and textures of the fish. It is complemented by leche de tigre (tiger milk) to drink. Leche de tigre is the mix used to marinade the fish and is often drank in accompaniment to the ceviche. It consists of fish and lime juice, sliced onion, chilis, salt and pepper and even cures hangovers apparently!

Next, we end our food tour aside the famed ruins of Huaca Pucllana in Miraflores district Lima to take a light lunch to savour the flavours brought from across Peru. Tasters of some of Peru’s most famous dishes are on offer along with a mouth-watering selection of desserts. These are the delights and the perfect end to what must be the best gastronomic food tour of Lima.

Why is this the best gastronomic food tour of Lima?

You can do this tour in a private service, but I recommend doing it as a small group as you have the fun and interaction of meeting new people. The guide for the trip really makes the trip come to life and shows a wonderful depth of knowledge of Peruvian cuisines, ingredients and the people that make it all possible. The tour is delivered with energy and passion and that is translated to the people like us on the tour, you get to cook for yourself and make drinks but in a fun manner with like-minded people. All in all, it’s a great way to spend about five hours in Lima. The tour can be taken from 09.30 to 14.30 or from 16.30 to 21.30.

Contact your Peru travel expert at Totally Latin America for details on how to experience this great journey in Peruvian cuisine.

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