Peruvian Cooking Glossary: Know what you are eating!

Lima, Peru is one of the top international foodie spots. Peruvian food has been classified by many experts as one of the best in the…

Lima, Peru is one of the top international foodie spots. Peruvian food has been classified by many experts as one of the best in the world for its great variety of foods, aroma, and originality. It’s no wonder it’s one of most popular cuisines among gourmets.

To fully experience and savor a true Peruvian dish, one has to notice the diversity of ingredients each dish contains. It’s a pleasure to savor the tradition and the mix of cultures by tasting the most popular Peruvian dishes like pollo a la brasa, ceviche, olluquito con charqui, picante de cuy o causa rellena.

Do they sound weird?

Inspired in an article published by Rossana Acquasanta in, we bring you an extensive list with a “translation” of the dish names and their ingredients so you know what you are putting in your mouth!

SEE ALSO: A tour of Peruvian cuisine with Johnny Schuler

Aguaje from Peru is known as the “curvy fruit.” It is said to help shape the female figure by adding fullness to the breasts,hips and buttocks. (Shutterstock)

AGUAJE Very acidic Amazonian fruit.

Peruvian groundcherry

Peruvian groundcherry: In Peru it’s known as aguaymanto or Inca berry. (Shutterstock)

AGUAYMANTO (PHYSALIS). Or tomatillo. This is a fruit used to decorate a dish. It is round and yellow, with colorful leaves.


Sesame seeds. (Shutterstock)

AJONJOLÍ: Sesame seeds.

AIRAMPO: This plant belongs to the Cacti plant, which fruit is used to dye food red.

Arracacha is taken in food amounts similar to potato.

Arracacha is a root vegetable originally from the Andes, somewhat intermediate between the carrot and celery. (Shutterstock)

ARRACACHA: This is an Andean root also called Creole celery or White carrot

Buchame: In the past, it was dried dolphin meat, today it is tuna.

Buchame was served with dolphin meat but now they use tuna. (Shutterstock)

BUCHAME: In the past, it was dried dolphin meat; today it is tuna. It’s served with garlic and olives.


Cabrilla. (Shutterstock)

CABRILLA: Sea-fish.

Cau cau

Cau cau is a traditional stew made with tripe. Shutterstock)

CAU CAU: Italian Mondonguito (trip) with French fries.


Caihua, known as well as Caigua or Stuffing Cucumber, was likely domesticated in the Andes and consumed by various ancient cultures.(Flickr/ Mark Bellingham)

CAIGUA: Andean cucumber. It can be smooth or hairy.

Here are more Peruvian foods:

  • CECINA: Dry smoked pork.
  • COCONA: A slightly acidic fruit.
  • CONCHA: Shell. Vieira.
  • CUSHURO: Algae that proliferates in height lakes in the Titicaca area.
  • CHALQUITA: Chopped onion.
  • CHINGUIRITO: Dried fish made by salting it. This was a fishermen’s resort prepared for consumption.
  • CHICHARRÓN: Fried fish.
  • CHIRIMPICO: Offal stew.
  • CHONTA: Fresh hearts of Palm.
  • CHORO: Mussel.
  • DALE-DALE: Nabito alike vegetable.
  • HUACATAY: Aromatic herb from the Peruvian Amazon.
  • HUARANGA: Algarrobina, carob extract.
  • HUEVERA: Fish roe.
  • KIWICHA: Amaranth.
  • JALEA: Fried fish and seafood.
  • JUANE: Stuffed Amazon banana leaf.
  • LECHE DE TIGRE. Ceviche juice.
  • LOCHE: Pumpkin.
  • MACA: A root with energy properties.
  • MACAMBO: A seed of the Amazon.
  • MUNA: An aromatic herb, minty tasting.
  • OLLUCO: A small elongated and stubby pink or yellow tubercle.
  • PAICHE: Fish of the great Amazon.
  • PAICO:  An herb to flavor stews or sauces. It also has medicinal uses.
  • PAJURO: A species of giant bean shape cashew nuts.
  • PATACÓN: A slice of fried plantain.
  • PIFAYO: The fruit of a Palm tree that tastes like a mix of corn and potato.
  • SACHA INCHI: A forest seed similar to star anise.
  • SACHA PAPA:  A purple potato very similar to a sweet potato.
  • TACACHO: Crushed banana.
  • TAPERIBA: An Amazonian fruit that tastes part like mango, part like a plum.
  • TIRADITO: A variant of ceviche.
  • TOCTO: Dehydrated and fried pig skin.
  • TUMBO: Yellow-greenish fruit, shaped like a short fat cucumber.
  • UCHUCUTA: Andean very thick and spicy sauce.
  • YUZU: Japanese lemon.
  • So if you’re ready for a foodie adventure, take note and enjoy!

    SEE ALSO: Ceviche recipe for a hot summer day