O Creator! You who give life to all things and who has made men that they may live and multiply. Multiply also the fruits of the earth, the potatoes and other food that you have, that men may not suffer from hunger and misery.—Traditional Incan Prayer

Compass Rose Cultural Crossroads is a small, not-for-profit publisher with specialties in history, mythology, culinary lore, and the preservation of folk traditions.

Food, Folklore, and Mythology: Peru

Food, Folklore, and Mythology: Peru

Food, Folklore, and Mythology: Peru is the first of a planned series exploring the connection between food and folklore. This collection contains nearly 200 delicious examples of Peruvian cuisine. Discover how Spanish, Portuguese, African, Middle Eastern, and Chinese food traditions mingled with the indigenous cooking methods of the Incas and other civilizations of Peru.


  • Bocaditos y Entradas / Appetizers & First Courses
  • Panes / Breads
  • Sopas / Soups
  • Carnes y Aves / Meat & Poultry
  • Pescados y Mariscos / Fish & Seafood
  • Verduras / Vegetables
  • Ensaladas / Salads
  • Postres y Dulces / Desserts & Sweets
  • Bebidas / Beverages
  • Glosario / Glossary

Sample Recipes


If any one dish is to be singled out as most typical of Peru, Cebiche is it. Cebiche, most often made from sea bass, is usually served on a bed of lettuce leaves accompanied by hearty slices of boiled sweet potato, yuca, corn on the cob, and toasted cancha (popcorn). Like most of the Peruvians we met, we ate it as an appetizer along with a cold glass of beer.

  • 2 pounds white fish filet, cleaned and cubed
  • 1 cup lime juice; 4 to 8 large limes if using fresh
  • 1 clove fresh garlic, crushed, or ½ teaspoon minced garlic
  • Hot pepper sauce, salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 large sweet onion, peeled and chopped fine
  • 2 red peppers, cut into strips
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, deveined and chopped (optional)
  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled, cooked and sliced

Combine the fish, lime juice, garlic, hot pepper sauce, salt and pepper. Let stand in refrigerator two to three hours to marinate. Add the chopped onion, red peppers, cilantro and celery. Chill an additional hour and serve with boiled sweet potatoes. Serves 6.

Leche de Tigre / Tiger’s Milk

After finishing a delicious dish of cebiche, you’ll notice a pool of liquid left on your plate. This is known as Tiger’s Milk, and is traditionally drunk as a hangover cure—especially delicious when poured into a glass and mixed with white wine, pisco, or vodka! You can make a close facsimile of this cocktail, without any fishy taste, by mixing the following ingredients together. Serves 4 to 6.

  • Juice of 6 lemons
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed, or 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 bottle white wine
  • 1 tablespoon ají verde sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a pitcher. Chill before serving.

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