Peruvian food is a growing force on the world gastronomic scene. Spearheaded by internationally acclaimed chefs such as Gastón Acurio -- and increasingly popular dishes such as ceviche -- the nation’s culinary reputation has been experiencing a boom over the last few years.
In 2006, PromPerú (Peru’s official promotional body) created the Perú Mucho Gusto brand -- a brand designed specifically to promote Peruvian gastronomy at home and abroad.
Perú Mucho Gusto on the International Stage
Shortly after its conception, the Perú Mucho Gusto brand made a highly successful appearance on the international stage. At the Madrid Fusión 2006 gastronomic festival in Spain, the Perú Mucho Gusto stand was one of the most visited across the entire festival. Traditional Peruvian dishes -- such as ají de gallina, ceviche and anticuchos -- impressed and intrigued the public and the international press. Peru’s national drink, pisco, also made a positive impression in Madrid.
Further appearances at Madrid Fusión have helped to introduce Peruvian cuisine to an international audience. Perú Mucho Gusto stands have also appeared at other international festivals, including the 2011 Expo Perú event in Canada.
Perú Mucho Gusto Gastronomic Fairs in Peru
Back in Peru, the Perú Mucho Gusto gastronomic fairs continue to go from strength to strength. In 2010, a successful two-day event took place in Cusco, followed two months later by a three-day event in Tacna. The fair moved to Tarapoto, San Martin, in 2011, with the first show of 2012 taking place in Ica.
The Perú Mucho Gusto brand aims to promote Peruvian gastronomy as a whole. As such, each fair features a wide selection of stands representing dishes from numerous administrative regions in Peru, as well as from the country's three main geographic regions. The Perú Mucho Gusto San Martin event, for example, featured 19 food stands representing regional cuisine from various parts of the country, stretching from the north coast of Peru to the deep jungles of Loreto in the far northeast.
Along with the restaurant stands, visitors can also roam through a fine selection of market stalls. Here you’ll find everything from cheeses to traditional sweets to regional liquors, again representing a number of different regions.
With such an array of foods to sample, it’s a good idea to arrive on an empty stomach. Once you do hit the gastronomic wall, you can relax and watch the onsite entertainment until you're ready for round two.
The Perú Mucho Gusto Book
In 2006, PromPerú released the Perú Mucho Gusto book to coincide with the wider brand campaign. The large and image-heavy hardback featured profiles of famous Peruvian chefs, as well as a number of recipes highlighting traditional dishes from across the country. As a sign of its overall quality, the book received a “Special Award” at the 2007 Gourmand World Cookbook Awards.
Copies of the book are now hard to find (especially outside of Peru), but it’s worth keeping an eye out for a copy, especially if you’re a fan of Peruvian cuisine or international gastronomy in general.
For more information about Perú Mucho Gusto, including upcoming events, visit the Perú Mucho Gusto Facebook page.