April 23, 2021 3 min read

Has it ever happened to you that you try a new meal and feel it’s so good you want to recommend it to everyone you know? Maybe you even loved it so much you think it should be recognized by the entire world?

That’s exactly how we feel aboutPeruvian cuisine, and apparently that’s how many people feel. There’s a big movement happening to try to get this amazing Latin American gastronomy awarded. 

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), which comprises cultural aspects of the UN members in order to

demonstrate and preserve the diversity of heritage, practices and expressions around the world;created in 2010 the “Representative list of the intangible cultural heritage of humanity”.

UNESCO has a list of 38 elements which are part of its Intangible Cultural Heritage for safeguarding.

This list has a mix of different cultural elements including dance, music, food and crafting.

Regarding food, this list includes French gastronomy, Mexican cuisine, Turkish coffee, Croatian gingerbread, Washoku Japan or the Mediterranean Diet which is part of four different countries (Spain, Greece, Italy and Morocco). 

ThePeruvian Cuisine goes back several centuries ago with one of the most precious cultural fusions in the contemporary world.

It is known not only for the taste but also for its variety and ability to mix and incorporate influences from different times and cultures.

The history ofPeruvian cuisine dates back to the Incas and pre-Incas, later influenced by the Spanish conquerors and the influence of Chinese, Europeans, Indian and Japanese migrants.

Thus, thePeruvian cuisine is rich and it has a fine combination of flavors from different continents in constant evolution.

The Peruvian coast alone has more than two thousand different types of soups.

Then why is Peruvian Cuisine left out of this list? 

Peruvian Cuisine has experienced a new flourishment in recent years. Ever since the first UNESCO list added Mexican Cuisine and French gastronomy back in 2010 Peruvian chefs have been working hard to get their Cuisine back on top, promoting their culture outside the country and reaching over 2,000 restaurants around the world.

Read More : Peruvian Breakfast: Food to start the day

According to Isabel Alvarez, a sociologist and professional cooker from Peru, the main problem with the first attempt was the lack of support and promotion from the government.

There was a lack of investment in research and proper follow up in comparison to the other contestants. She also pointed out the fact that Peru has been lacking a long term policy that protects the interest of their cultural identity.

On the other hand, Mariano Valderrama, former representative of the Peruvian gastronomic Association, added that the approach had an error as they tried to include the wholePeruvian Cuisine history as well as the region while Mexican Cuisine was primarily focused on Michoacan, a Mexican state.

However, the main problem lays within both postures. To be a part of the list is necessary to present more than taste and diversity, having the best dish or the biggest variety is not a synonym of cultural heritage. 

What is this country doing to achieve Cultural Heritage Status for Peruvian cuisine?

Peruvian government wants to obtain the UNESCO’s Cultural Heritage Status and has been working in the appliance for this year’s selection according to the foreign affairs minister, Nestor Popolizio.

Their goal is to achieve the status for the bicentenary of Peru’s independence in 2021.

Peruvian cuisine is known for being very diverse, fresh and full of flavors. In order to fulfill its purpose, Peru is planning to champion ceviche, a fresh raw fish cured in lime juice, onions, salt and yellow chili peppers (clickhere to learn the full recipe for ceviche).

Ceviche is the most representative dish ofPeruvian cuisine according to an Ipsos report thatestablished that most of the population recognizes it as the national dish.

So, the next time you feel like enjoying a tasty meal fromPeruvian cuisine, think of all the effort that is being made to give it the international recognition it surely deserves.

Although it might not seem like you can do a lot to help Peru achieve its goal, remember that spreading the word about the delicious Peruvian flavors can do wonders!