Did you know that Lima, the capital of Peru, is home to more than 6,000 Chinese restaurants? Chinese cuisine is very popular in Peru and has evolved ever since the first Chinese migrants set foot in the country.
In fact, the term “Chifa” refers to Chinese cuisine in the Peruvian culinary tradition. Most of the Chinese immigrants in Peru came from the Guangdong province of Southern China, and the food that is prepared in Peru as part of Chifa is a curious combination of Guangdong and Peruvian cuisines.
What is a Chifa?
Chifa refers to a restaurant where Chifa-style food is served. Chifas are so popular in Peru that they have spread to neighboring countries as well. You will find all the basic Chinese dishes such as Chow Mein, egg drop soups, soy sauce infused meats, and other delicious dishes. Chifas range from extravagant to those found in neighborhoods, where just about anyone can go. In other words, Chinese food in Peru is not limited to certain sections of the society. Practically everyone eats it, and everyone is so fond of it that it is part of the Peruvian society now.
The history of Chinese cuisine in Peru
Initially, Chinese cuisine in Peru was not very popular. The ingredients were not available, and immigrants often did not have the kind of money required to import expensive spices and ingredients from their home towns. So, many Chinese recipes fused locally available ingredients and thus resulted what is now found commonly all over Peru. However, as immigrants prospered, they were able to recreate many authentic recipes which they consumed back in China. They were also able to import expensive spices and condiments, allowing Peruvians to try authentic Chinese cuisine.
If you would like to try a Chifa in Peru, all you need to do is to ask a local for the nearest Chinese restaurant. Chances are, the one that’s closest to you will be just a few meters away from where you are. Such is the popularity of Chifa!