Fall in love with Peru by sampling these mouth-watering Peruvian desserts
Peru is a fascinating country that provides a plethora of diversity – the Peruvian culture is intriguing and bursting with color, vivacity, and flair. This passes through to Peruvian cooking, especially Peru desserts. Peruvian desserts are renowned worldwide and have influences from many other cultures such as Spanish and Portuguese.
Desserts in Peru are often laden with gorgeous and rich Peruvian chocolate and cacao which make them a real treat at the end of a hearty meal. If you have a sweet tooth and are traveling to Peru, ensure that you sample at least one of the 10 Peruvian sweets and desserts listed below – Bon appetite!
Peruvian Lime Pie
Lime Pie is a worldwide dessert featured in many countries but Peru has their own version that has a slight twist. The main difference with this Peru dessert is the fact that lemons are used as opposed to the traditional lime – although lime versions are popular too. A thin layer of pastry is topped with a lime or lemon custard and finished with a gorgeous topping of meringue. Most restaurants in the major cities of Peru will offer this dessert and the taste is out of this world.
Peruvian Tres Leches
There is no denying that the Tres Leches dessert does not look the most appealing, but the taste is excellent. This cake has become one of the most popular of Peru cakes and can be found throughout the major cities. The cake is made up of three different types of milk as the name implies – condensed, evaporated and whole. The layers and ingredients used to create a Peruvian dessert that is superbly sweet and addictive.
Peruvian Chocolate Cake
You have not tried a true chocolate cake until you have sampled a piece of Peruvian chocolate cake! Yes, we know that you can find chocolate cake anywhere in the world, but this Peru dessert is rich and sumptuous like nothing you have experienced. As you can guess, the main difference is the chocolate and cacao flavors used – Peru chocolate is unbelievably rich and filling therefore Peruvian chocolate cake is too – the fudge topping is usually hearty and creamy to suite.
Peruvian desserts are renowned for being heart-warming and filling – Peruvians have developed these warm delights to stay warm during the long and often cold winters. Mazamorra Morada is a typical example of such a dessert. This gelatine-like treat uses a mix of cinnamon, clove, mixed fruits (pineapples, cherry etc) and purple corn. The resulting texture and flavor is truly sensational and will feel like a party in your mouth! This traditional Peru dessert is often served with Arroz con leche.
Leche Asada is actually one of the oldest Peru desserts and hails back to colonial times. This could be considered the working class version of Crème Brulee made with wholesome and easy to find ingredients. Leche Asada is basically a combination of eggs, sugar, vanilla, and milk that is effectively roasted to create a delicious sweet tasting dessert that is popular throughout Peru. The Leche Asada is usually served in individual glasses and is a fantastic light dessert if you have enjoyed a hearty main course.
Arroz con Leche
Peruvian rice pudding is a beautiful sweet dessert that is both hearty and delicious. This Peru dessert was actually brought to the country by Spanish colonials and it has proved to be a popular recipe ever since. Arroz con Leche combines rice together with cloves, evaporated milk, vanilla essence, cinnamon powder and condensed milk. The pudding is usually topped with a cinnamon stick for extra flavor and decoration. If you are stopping in a homestay, or a B&B, homemade Peruvian rice pudding is a true treat, especially on a cold evening!
Peruvian cookies are an absolute wonder and although the Alfajores originates from Arabic countries, it has managed to become a staple of Peru desserts and snacks. It is surprising that each Latin American country actually has its own variation of Alfajores and the Peruvian creation consists of two layers of cookies made from cornstarch. The filling is sweet and sticky and made of Manjar Blanco which is a type of caramel reduction. These Alfajores can be found throughout the country and are another fantastic light dessert.
Turron Doña Pepa
Doña Pepa is a famous and important figure in Peruvian culture and religion and the Turron Doña Pepa was created in homage to this woman. This small but delightful cake features a predominant flavor of aniseed, combined with syrup (most Peruvian desserts contain syrup). The two flavors work well together, and the cake looks charming as it is usually topped with multi-colored candies. Although this dessert can be sampled at any time of the year, the month of October is the best time to try it during El Mes Morada (The Purple Month) celebrations.
Suspiro a la Limeña
This Peru dessert literally translates as “Sigh of a woman from Lima” and it is both lights, sweet and tasty. The main ingredient is the famous Peruvian dulce de leche, combined with a healthy dose of Win merengue and cinnamon. If you are traveling through Lima, this is the dessert to try – originated from the capital and it is found in abundance in many restaurants and cafes throughout the city.
If you want a tasty and light dessert to munch on as you travel or explore one of Peru’s fine cities then we recommend sampling Picarones! Picarones are effectively small donuts or fritters that have been a staple of Peruvian desserts since the mid-19th century. The recipe differs from traditional donuts as the main ingredient is sweet potato combined with squash. The Picarones are usually topped with syrup and then flavored with orange peel – the sweet and tangy combination of flavors is sublime!
As you can see there are some truly scrumptious and mouth-watering traditional Peruvian desserts combined together with some dishes that Peruvians have put a twist on. We highly recommend visiting a local restaurant or patisserie when traveling through Peru to try their magnificent chocolate, and indulge in several Peruvian cake and desserts – you won’t regret it!