The epicurean movement in Peru, really in South America on the whole, has been deliciously dramatic…pun intended. Lima, now considered a gastronomical capital in the region, celebrates this development by hosting Mistura, today one of the world’s largest food festivals. Here experience a food culture like no other, with a mix of traditions, flavors, and specialties as varied, rich and unique as the country itself.
The Gran Mercado is where all the magic really happens. The “big” market, as it translates, has over 400 stalls where participants from all links in the productive process of Peruvian cuisine come together in an incredible display of diversity. Small farmers join chefs, who join sweet makers and bakers and restaurants to showcase the delights of the area’s famous fare. They share a common purpose of appreciating Peruvian food, both its past and its creative and evolving future, with newcomers and with each other.
Peru is a country whose biodiversity stretches from the sea and rivers to the jungles of the Amazon and the peaks of the high Andes, and the locals use food to tell this story. Mistura is the perfect place to put this geographical melting pot not only on display, but to provide an opportunity for people from all over to immerse themselves in this foodie experience. One could argue there is no better way to understand Peru’s culture than to eat it! And with each year having a different epicurean focus, highlighting something unique in the country’s culinary tradition, Mistura is always full of surprises.
This year Mistura will take place September 5-14 and the theme is water and marine resources…so you can bet seafood will the pride of this year’s event! The expansive festival grounds are easy to navigate and buying products is even easier, so taking full advantage of your time here will not be a problem. Don’t miss the coffee and chocolate stands, two product world renowned in Peru, as well as the bakery stand, the spot preferred by those who arrive early to the fair – the largest and most diverse bakery in the country. Here are gathered bakers from all parts of Peru, to prepare and bake more than fifty varieties of bread. And finally, it is Peru after all, so you MUST plan on sampling local pisco (grape brandy produced in winemaking regions of Peru), las brasas (grilled meat), and of course ceviche!
Where to stay:
Hotel B is Lima’s answer to a luxury boutique property, and it appeals everyone from art enthusiasts and history buffs to in-the-know trendsetters. Once the summer retreat for President Augusto Leguía, the mansion has joined the Relais & Châteaux collection of hotels, undergoing a major transformation while keeping its distinguished Roaring 20’s vibe. Lima’s first luxury boutique hotel is a result of years of painstakingly detailed restoration that has been thrown into this formerly abandoned mansion. Peruvian heritage and culture permeate the space, but the house has been reintroduced with a cool twist.
Who to Talk To:
Robyn Mark is Absolute Travel’s culinary specialist, and raves about her experience at Mistura. This food festival is definitely one of her can’t miss excursions if in Peru at the right time, and if you’re a passionate foodie she recommends even planning a trip around attending this amazing epicurean event!