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Chicharron, Peru’s wake-the-dead breakfast sandwich

Slices of fried pork served with steamed sweet potato, marinated onions and a dash of chili sauce.

Simple, tasty and filling, chicharron is one of dozens of classic Peruvian dishes that most foreign visitors never even discover.


In a country renowned for its original and varied cuisine, it ought to go without saying that there would be a delicious meaty breakfast option, the kind to cure a hangover or simply solve an urgent hunger crisis. Cue chicharron, the fried pork dish that Peruvians usually enjoy for breakfast, but also happily devour at any other time of the day, especially a Sunday lunch.

Simple, tasty and filling, chicharron is one of dozens of classic Peruvian dishes that most foreign visitors never even discover.


There are various ways to enjoy chicharron, but the classic way to start the day, a chicharron sandwich accompanied by a strong coffee, is arguably the best. The meat, usually from the belly or ribs, is typically boiled, over an open wood fire, until the water evaporates and the pork then browns in its own fat. It is then served in a crisp white bread roll, with a thick slice of steamed sweet potato, “salsa criolla” — the uniquely Peruvian sauce of sliced onions marinated in key lime juice — and, if you fancy it spicy, a dash of “ají”, as chili peppers are called here. When cooked correctly, the meat is juicy but also surprisingly lean.


Chicharron is a highly popular dish here and most Peruvians eat it at neighborhood restaurants, often not as a sandwich but with a side of sweet potato and garnished with onions, aji and fried corn. But it’s also a recipe that the country’s new wave of internationally acclaimed chefs love to play with, preparing gourmet versions of this old favorite at some of Lima’s top restaurants, including La Picantería, listed in San Pellegrino’s Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants in 2015.


To try chicharron at a restaurant recommended by the Peru Empire Company, as part of your unique, individually tailored Peru itinerary, contact us at travel@pec.pe or on +51-1-700-5100 or, if you are in the US, 347-713-7030/34.


#Gastronomy

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