Chicharrones: the best way to eat breakfast in Peru
In a country renowned for its original and high-quality cuisine, it ought to go without saying that there would be a delicious meaty breakfast option. We present you the chicharrones: the best way to eat breakfast in Peru (or simply solve an urgent hunger crisis).
The champion pork sandwich is usually enjoyed in the mornings but can be also eaten at any other time of the day. Simple, tasty and filling, chicharrones are a classic Peruvian breakfast that most foreign visitors need to try.
The Peruvian breakfast
Breakfast in Peru is normally a simple affair. On a typical day, many Peruvians awake to a quick meal of bread with a basic accompaniment such as butter, jam, cheese, ham, olives or avocado. Oatmeal mixed with milk and fruits is also common.
Eggs, either scrambled or fried, and tamales are also eaten for breakfast, but rarely on a day-to-day basis.
Coffee is a common drink, served black or with a splash of evaporated milk. Most Peruvians like their coffee sweet, adding a teaspoon or two of sugar. Cacao is another potential addition, especially in cacao-producing regions. One alternative to coffee is an infusión, a cup of boiled water infused with tea, anise or chamomile.
On Sundays, many Peruvians sit down to enjoy a slightly later and heartier breakfast. These breakfast recipes are often smaller versions of meals more typically served for lunch in Peru.
Classic big size breakfasts include chicharrón de chancho (fried pork, often served with sweet potato or fried yuca), lomo saltado, caldo de gallina (a hearty chicken soup), relleno (black pudding/blood sausage), humitas and tamales. The menu big star of the day is the chicharrón de chancho.
Yes, we know how weird sounds to eat this kind of strong food in your very first meal of the day. But breakfasts in the Andean highlands are often heavier. Get used to that and give it a try!
All about the Chicharrones
As you may notice while traveling through Peru, Chicharrones are a highly popular dish. There are several variations: it can be served with a side of sweet potato and garnished with onions and ají, but it is often served as a well-favored sandwich. It seems very simple, but this sandwich is a recipe that many national and internationally acclaimed chefs love to play with. Delicious gourmet versions of this old favorite can be found in some of Lima’s top restaurants.
There are several different ways to enjoy chicharron. The original Peruvian way to start the day, a warm chicharron sandwich accompanied by a strong morning coffee, is definitely the best.
First, you need to plan in advance and let the pork brine overnight. The meat, usually from the belly or ribs, is then put to boil over wood fire until the water evaporates and the pork then browns in its own fat. While the pork is cooking, you can prepare the steamed sweet potatoes, the salsa criolla – a uniquely Peruvian sauce of sliced onions marinated in lime juice – spicy onion and cilantro.
The red onions create a very sharp taste in the salsa. The lime adds a sour flavor, and the cilantro gives a nice accent. The heat and sweet flavor from the potatoes are subtle but delicious. The ají adds less spicy taste than you may expect. And the pork is the real key ingredient. Everything put together tastes absolutely delicious!
When and where to eat a Chicharron Sandwich?
While you can find the Chicharron Sandwich both day and night, they are often a breakfast food for Saturday and Sunday mornings. Great nourishment to help cope with that hangover.
La Lucha is probably one of the top choices to eat Chicharrrón and other sandwichs in Miraflores. It is located at Park Kennedy. The venerable El Chinito chain is an icon in Lima, known for having the best Chicharron Sandwiches in town with locations all over the city. You can also try the Queen Sandwich: a food cart that travels across the city.
Chicharrones are not the healthiest of Peruvian delicacies, in fact, it’s probably the least healthy. For those able to sin once in a while, do not dare miss the most typical combination of Peruvian flavors you ever tasted before in a simple sandwich.
Add a Peruvian touch in your next Sunday Brunch!