In Lima: The Next Great Food City from Bon Appétit, Daniel Duane questions whether Lima could become the next great food destination. There is obviously no debate for Arturo Rubio, owner of the Restaurant Huaca Pucllana and former president of the Committee for the Promotion of Peruvian Cuisine, whom he quotes saying:
“JUST TRY TO IMAGINE ITALIAN FOOD WITHOUT TOMATOES, Mr. Duane. Or spanish cooking without chiles. Really, face it, my friend, the Inca domesticated fowl, so there would be no foie gras in France without the food of Peru.” Arturo Rubio’s voice begins to rise now, and he swings his soft hands around to illustrate his point—that every great culinary tradition on earth owes a debt to Peru. “No chocolate in Switzerland,” he cries, laughing at himself now. “No potatoes in Ireland.” Pausing to gulp a Peruvian beer, he nearly spits his next line with glee: “The Irish would’ve starved. New York would have no cops. My God, it was Portuguese traders who brought South American chiles to the Asian subcontinent; there would be no curry in India. No spices in Thailand!”
Following Duane’s further exploration of Lima and it’s renowned chefs, Rubios passion seems less hyperbole and more reasoned that I would have thought. As the writer notes:
Peru really is blessed with an almost ludicrous variety of natural resources, from the great seafood of the Pacific coast to the vegetables of the temperate highlands of the Andes to the wild tropical abundance of herbs and fish from the Amazon.
Now my only questions are where to find great Peruvian recipes to try and how we’ll ever be able to thank them for all those tomatoes, cops and chocolate?