The 10 most delicious dishes of Arequipa

Arequipa offers one of the best cuisines in Peru. It stands out for its varied flavors from ingredients typical of the country’s coast and mountains. Dishes such as rocoto relleno, adobo, chupe de camarones, pastel de papa, cuy chactado and more stand out. Many of these dishes can be tasted in the famous chicherías of Arequipa. Below you will find the 10 best dishes in Arequipa, their prices and where to try them.

Chupe de camarones
Chupe de camarones – Arequipa


Rocoto relleno

Rocoto relleno arequipeño
Rocoto relleno arequipeño

The rocoto relleno is the flagship dish of Arequipa. It is served as an appetizer as well as a main dish. As its name suggests, it is made from rocoto, a spicy fruit shaped like an apple. The rocoto is stuffed with ground meat, cheese, olives, stews and everything cooked in the oven. In Arequipa, this dish is usually accompanied with potato cake. There is a story that attributes the creation of this dish to the priest Manuel Mesías who creates this spicy dish to satisfy the devil’s palate and thus recover his daughter.


Adobo arequipeño

Adobo arequipeño
Adobo arequipeño

This dish is also known as pork adobo or simply adobo arequipeño. As its name indicates, it is made from pork seasoned with chili, garlic, butter, chicha and rocoto pepper. All these ingredients are fried and cooked with the same juice. Arequipeños usually accompany it with tres cachetes bread that is soaked in its sauce. Historian Enrique Ramírez points out that the origin of this dish was in the Arequipa district of Cayma in 1525.


Chupe de camarones

Chupe de camarones
Chupe de camarones

The chupe de camarones is a famous dish throughout Peru, although it originates from Arequipa. As its name indicates, the river shrimp is its main ingredient. It is a soup seasoned with potato, cheese, milk, broad beans, peas, corn, rice and egg. Although shrimp can be caught in any river in Peru, shrimp are traditionally caught in the Ocoña and Majes rivers in Arequipa. It is one of the most famous dishes of Arequipa’s spicy places. His fame is also widespread in the city of Lima.


Ocopa arequipeña

Ocopa arequipeña
Ocopa arequipeña

Ocopa is a very popular sauce throughout Peru, although its origins are in the city of Arequipa. Its preparation is similar to the also famous ‘papa a la huancaína’. It is made of yellow pepper, cheese, milk, huacatay, peanuts, crackers, oil and salt. This dish is usually accompanied by a boiled egg and fresh lettuce. Peruvians prefer it as a starter dish. The ocopa has an Andean tradition. It is believed to have origins prior to the Spanish invasion of the 16th century.


Pastel de papa

Pastel de papa
Pastel de papa

The world famous potato cake has its own characteristics in Arequipa. The most outstanding thing is that in Arequipa this cake does not have a meat filling. It is made with white potatoes, cheese, milk, flour, eggs, butter, oil and anise. All these ingredients are cooked in the oven for approximately 30 minutes. Arequipeños usually accompany the stuffed rocoto with the potato cake.


Chaque

Chaque soup
Chaque soup

Chaque is a delicious soup originating from the city of Arequipa. Its ingredients are mostly Andean, so it is believed that its origins date back to the same Inca times. It is made from beef ribs, beef guts, wheat, corn, potatoes, carrots, cabbage, chuño as well as garlic, salt, oil and other spices. Arequipeños have the tradition of consuming it on Mondays. It is widely consumed in the popular markets of the region.


Chupe de olluco

Chupe de olluco
Chupe de olluco

Peru is a land where different types of ‘chupes’ are usually prepared. There is shrimp chupe, pumpkin chupe, broad bean chupe and also olluco chupe. As its name indicates, this dish is prepared with minced olluco, cheese, pumpkin, corn, broad bean, yellow potato, huacatay, milk, salt and pepper. Its ingredients are mostly produced in the Andes of Peru. Arequipeños usually consume it as a starter in the main markets of the city.


Locro de pecho

Locro de pecho
Locro de pecho

Although this dish is prepared throughout Peru, in Arequipa it is where it acquired the most fame. Its main ingredient is beef brisket. White potatoes, red peppers, onions, turnips, celery, salt and mint are also used. Throughout the country it is consumed accompanied by white rice. In Arequipa, it is usually consumed in the “White City” “picanterías” as a main dish. It can be accompanied by a glass of chicha.


Escribano arequipeño

Escribano arequipeño
Escribano arequipeño

This peculiar dish from Arequipa is a salad made with rocoto pepper, potato, tomato, vinegar and salt and oil. Its name is due to a story that indicates that the scribes worked a long time, so they arrived late at the Arequipa’s “picanterías”. For this reason they were served this easy to prepare dish. The escribano is usually served decorated with huacatay branches. In some spicy restaurants seafood is added. It is prepared as a starter dish.


Cuy chactado

Cuy chactado
Cuy chactado

The cuy chactado is a dish spread mainly in the Andean region of Peru. Although its origins are uncertain, the people of Arequipa claim to be the creators of this dish made from guinea pigs. It is also prepared with cornmeal, lemon, garlic, pepper, cumin and all fried in a pan with plenty of oil. The cuy chactado is present in the main tourist restaurants of the city. It is usually accompanied by potatoes, onion and, at the request of the client, a glass of chicha.

 

By Machupicchu Terra – Last updated, April 20, 2022


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