Peruvian breakfast dishes start your day off with ethnic flavors, whether you're visiting Peru or want to bring a bit of the country to your home. During the week, Peruvian breakfasts, called desayuno, are usually quick and simple with foods such as oatmeal or bread topped with butter, jam, cheese or other toppings. Sundays often mean larger, heartier meals with the whole family gathering around the table.
Basics of Peruvian Breakfasts
Peru traditional meals in the morning often reflect the agriculturally focused traditions of the South American country. The meal includes a variety of cuisines drawn from its geographical settings, including the coast, jungle and Andean highlands. Spicy bold flavors influenced by Basque and Spanish cuisines combine with earthy Incan grains and root vegetables. Peru main food dishes blend comforting, meaty dishes with light and bright vegetables.
A common sight on the breakfast table in Peru is the simple sandwich, known as sanguche. Originally intended to be eaten on the go or in the fields, sanguche, especially the pan con chicharron, is a Peru staple food for breakfast.
Chicharron is a sandwich of fresh bakery buns, pork, sweet potatoes, red onion and chili salsa. Other Peruvian sandwiches are the butifarra, a country-style ham sandwich, and the "triple" sandwich, which combines avocado, tomato and egg.
Sweet or Savory Soups
Sopa de te, or tea soup, is a sweet soup of porridge consistency served for breakfast. It combines bread, tea, milk and sugar for a fortifying breakfast that's served at a very hot temperature. Peruvian tea soup is traditionally topped with cloves and a dash of cinnamon, as well as a small circle of buttered bread.
Shambar is another Peruvian soup seen at the breakfast table. It consists of wheat, beans, legumes and many types of smoked meat, making it a savory breakfast option. In some areas, Peruvian families make a breakfast soup with meat, vegetables and other leftover items from the previous day.
Fruits and Vegetables
Peru is the source of indigenous fruits and vegetables served at many a desayuno. Uvilla and uvos are two wild plums that boast the bursting sweetness of lychee and the tart tang of a passion fruit. Palillo fruit has an intense scent and a powerful sweet and sour taste.
Vegetables that make an appearance at the Peruvian breakfast include tomatoes and avocados. Both vegetables have been farmed in Peru for centuries.
Local Peruvian cuisine adds rich flavors to the breakfast table. The options include both savory and sweet.
On the savory side, tamales are filled with meat and masa, or corn flour. Empanadas are stuffed with spicy meats. Ceviche, or raw fish in a spicy citrus marinade, is also served at breakfast. The citrus chemically "cooks" the fish over a period of three to six hours, making it safe to consume.
Sweet and crispy churros are made of choux pastry in Peruvian cuisine. Fried banana chips, known as chifle, are bought from street vendors throughout the country. Picarones are a type of Peruvian doughnut made with squash and sweet potato and fried.
Peruvian Breakfast Drinks
Breakfast beverages in Peru include the common coffee, tea and juices, including papaya juice. Many Peruvians start their day with coffee, sometimes with evaporate milk and sugar added. In areas where cacao is grown, some people add it to their coffee.
Another option is the alcoholic national drink of pisco. Pisco is made from grapes grown just south of Peru's capital city of Lima and is served throughout the day. A non-alcoholic option at breakfast is chicha morada, made from purple maize boiled with pineapple, quince and spices.