If you haven’t yet had Peruvian food, you must try it straightaway. It’s hard to sum up simply or to compare it to any other food. They have their version of empanadas, lots of seafood dishes with rice, noodles and yucca. Peruvian ceviche (or cebiche) is made with “tiger’s milk”, raw onion, giant corn kernels and boatloads of fresh seafood. Ají de Gallina is another popular specialty made with chicken, yellow slightly spicy peppers and condensed milk. It’s velvety delicious. Peru and Chile share many common base ingredients that are not typical to other countries, like lúcuma (a somewhat maple syrupy tasting fruit with a texture like mousse), palta or avocado (called aguacate everywhere else), pisco (a grape brandy native to the two nations) and others, but the flavor combinations are very different. There are so many great Peruvian restaurants in Santiago and they’re usually full of people. There are many that have your 8 page menus and full bars, but even the tiny corner shacks specializing in spit-roasted chicken and hand cut french fries must be raved over. It’s the sauces that do it for me. Most dishes from Peru are either topped or served with a smattering of sauces, particularly spicy or garlicky ones. One place I particularly love called Donde Guido on the corner of Merced and Mosqueto, just a block west of Ave. J.M. de la Barra in Bellas Artes serves up all kinds of chicken sandwiches and burgers topped with up to nine sauces: olive tapenade, guacamole, garlic, mayo, ketchup, ricotto (hot Peruvian red pepper), ají (mild yellow pepper) etc. Their service is friendly and quick. There is a tip jar on the counter for the chefs. If you are nowhere near South America, maybe try your hand at making some dishes. Here are a few recipe/foto links to get you started. Here is a pic of Marcela and Andy the last time we were about to dig into these full tummy stuffing french fry topped wonders.