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The seventh anual Mistura, the largest food festival in Latin America, has opened in Lima, Peru. The 10-day food festival, run by the Sociedad Peruana de Gastronomía – Apega, features food from across Peru and seeks to fight against Peru’s ever-increasing malnutrition problem.
Some 45-percent of Peru’s 28 million people live in poverty and 60-percent of its children up to age five are poor, according to UNICEF.
“I think Mistura can help us work for and fight against chronic child malnourishment. If we unite the private and public sectors, we can bring quality food to the homes of the poorest and most affected families,” said Peruvian President Ollanta Humala on opening day of the festival.
This year’s theme is biodiversity and nutrition. “Hopefully, there will be more of Mistura to help fight against chronic child malnutrition,” said Humala.
Held just steps from the breathtaking Costa Verde of Magdalena del Mar, chefs and restaurants from across Peru serve their signature dishes and drinks. Each is placed in one of 12 ‘worlds’; by geography: Northern, Southern, Amazonian, Criollo and Oriental; or by specialty like ceviche (Peru’s national dish), sanguches (sandwiches), barbecue, anticuches (kebabs), drinks, and desserts.
The festival serves as the perfect introduction to Peruvian cuisine for visitors while locals flock to favorite restaurants from near and far for a taste of traditional fare like anticuchos de corazón (skewered goat heart marinated in vinegar, cumin, aji (a fiery red chile pepper) and garlic and grilled over hot embers; ceviche (diced fish tossed with aji, red onion, cilantro, garlic, lime juice, salt, and ‘leche de tigre’ (‘heart of the tiger’ – a mixture of ceviche marinade of lime juice and pureed fish pieces); and picarones (a skinny squash and sweet potato fried donut drenched in chancaca sauce (molasses syrup made with raw unrefined sugar and honey. Dozens of Peruvian specialties can be washed down with variations of the Pisco Sour (a refreshing cocktail of Peruvian pisco, a brandy made of pomace (the solid leftovers of grapes), lime juice, ice, egg whites, and garnished with Angostura bitters.
New this year is a kitchen in the Grand Market where Peru’s top chefs like Gastón Acurio, “the father of modern Peruvian cooking who recently announced his retirement; Virgilio Martinez of Central has taken the top spot on the second annual San Pellegrino 50 Best Restaurants in Latin America 2014 list; and Mitsuharu Tsumura of Nikkei restaurant Maido, prepare and serve samples of dishes prepared with Peru’s most symbolic products like fish, limes, orange bananas, and pisco.
The food festival also includes Qaray, a three-day food forum Sept. 5-7 featuring lectures from food experts like Carlo Petrini, founder of the international Slow Food movement, and Kamilla Seidler, known as the “Danish of the Andes” for her work in her modern Bolivian restaurant Gustu in La Paz, Bolivia, where she created high end gastronomy with local produce while upholding Bolivia’s often forgotten food traditions.
Lauren Mack is The Daily Meal’s New York City Travel Editor. Follow her on Twitter @lmack.
Welcome to Mistura – Peru’s biggest food festival, caught on video.
A few days ago we were contacted by the documentary production studio Cut & Cue, with a video about Mistura, Peru’s biggest gastronomic fair. If you haven’t had the chance to visit Mistura yet, this will give you a sneak peek at what goes on inside the walls of this monumental food fest. The video is called Peruvian Cuisine: A Catalyst for Change, and here it is.
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This blog is a loving tribute to the intoxicating flavors, colors and aromas of Peru. We are foodies, travelers and passionate promoters of our gastronomy and cultural heritage.
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Mistura Food Festival Opens in Peru - Recipes
Lima, Peru’s annual food festival, Mistura, is currently under way in the Parque de la Expocision. This year’s event has attracted the likes of culinary icons like Ferran Adria of El Bulli and Rene Redezipi of Copenhagen’s Noma. Regardless of the big names and special decrees issued to the world, the more than 300,000 attendees are there for the food.
Mistura: the best food experience in Peru
Lima’s biggest food fair, Mistura gives you a chance to taste your way across Peru’s diverse geographic regions and vast culinary repertoire. If you plan your trips around eating and drinking, then this event deserves a place on your bucket list. And if you decide to make Mistura part of your trip to Peru, we at Incas Expert are here to help!
Details for Mistura Food Fair 2018
The biggest food festival in Peru showcases the country’s culinary traditions, creativity, and diversity. Indulge in familiar and unfamiliar food and drinks, alongside live music, competitions, cooking demonstrations, and a sprawling farmer’s market.
Exact dates TBD.* But projected to take place during the last week of August and first week of September.
Costa Verde, Magdalena del Mar district, Lima
TICKETS go on sale at select supermarkets in Lima, Peru, including Wong and Metro. You can also buy tickets at the entrance.
The Great Regions of Peru
- Last year’s advance ticket prices were S/.26 (
$8 USD) Thursday to Sunday and S/.17 (
Bookmark this page and check back for updated Mistura ticket information. This year’s event coincides with the tail end of peak season for travel to Machu Picchu.
Photo courtesy of APEGA, Mistura 2017
A celebration of Peruvian food
Mistura is the brainchild of celebrity chef Gaston Acurio and Apega (the Society of Peruvian Gastronomy). First organized in 2008, the first edition of the festival attracted 23,000 visitors. The fifth edition, Mistura 2012, hit a peak record of 506,531 attendees. In the last few years, attendance numbers have remained steady between 300,000 and 400,00 visitors.
According to Apega, the majority of attendees are Limeños — Lima locals — who come to enjoy the one thing closest to the national heart: food. About 15% of attendees visit from Peru’s provinces and an equal number come from foreign countries. More than 50% of non-local visitors come to Lima specifically for Mistura.
Photo courtesy of APEGA, Mistura 2017
What to eat at Mistura
The festival is organized by sections, making it easy to zone in on specific culinary interests. Popular eats and drinks each get their own zone: barbecues (brasas), soups and stews (sopas and caldos), traditional and regional restaurants (picanterias and regionales), juices (jugos), sandwiches (sanguches), ceviches, sweets (dulces), among others. Food trucks and street carts (carretillas) serve all sorts of Peruvian favorites such as papas rellenas, buñuelos, and tamales.
Among the vendors, perennial favorites include:
- Cuy (roasted guinea pig) at Asociación Gastronómica Santa Rosa
- Chancho al palo (pork slowed cooked over a wood fire) at La Caja China de Tia Maria
- Anticuchos (marinated, skewered cow or alpaca hearts) at Tía Grimanesa and Anticuchos Pascuala
- Ceviche at Entre las Redes and Las Barras de Ronald
Beer lovers: don’t miss the craft beer stand. Peru boasts a growing craft beer scene, with more than 2 dozen brewers in Lima and provincial cities. The fascination with craft beer has carried over to Mistura. So much so that the beer tent is among the highest grossing category of vendors. If cocktails are more your thing, head over to the bar section where you’re sure to find something to your liking.
Photo courtesy of APEGA, Mistura 2017
Gran Mercado at Mistura
Walking around the stalls of Mistura’s “Great Market” gives you much-needed time to digest before your next meal. And it also gives you a chance to glimpse the incredible variety of fresh Peruvian ingredients and natural products. Fruits, vegetables, cheeses, grains, breads, oils, and more are all on display and available for purchase. Examples include:
- Quito quito, a glossy orange citric fruit hailing from the Oxapampa region in the high jungle of central Peru.
- “quesos de chonta,” a cheese from Cajamarca which get a distinctive green hue from basil, oregano, and chlorophyll.
- “manjar de chirimoya,” a creamy delicacy with the consistency of thick pudding, made from custard apples — a real treat if you have a sweet tooth.
In short, at Mistura, there’s much to savor and much to discover not only about Lima, but the whole of Peru, its people, culture, and cuisine, making this one of the best food experiences in the country.
As you explore the fair’s grounds, you’ll find globally renowned Peruvian icons like Gaston Acurio alongside common street vendors that come from all over the country to serve their food. The fair prides itself on becoming a space where culinary experts of all backgrounds come together to showcase their Peruvian pride through what they cook. Hundreds of stands line up and there’s food as far as the eye can see (and as far as the nose can smell).
You’ll see the classics: cuy (guinea pig), lomo saltado, ají de gallina, and papa a la huancaína. These dishes present not only a wide range of tastes, but also Peru’s geographical regions. Peru’s diverse geography (a combination of dry coastline, extensive mountain ranges, and dense jungle) lends itself to an array of flavors most countries do not have the luxury of cultivating. Dishes from this triad of diversity spread across the fair.
Desserts are generously served and abundant. You’ll find picarones, tres leches, alfajores and trufas — desserts your heart didn’t know it desired because it didn’t even have names for them.
You’ll spot great fusion too Peru’s Chinese and Japanese immigrant population is huge, and many of these Asian flavors have infiltrated the Peruvian palate and left a positive mark. Chifa (Peruvian-Chinese hybrid) is common, as well as sushi infused with hints of ceviche.
Undoubtedly, the market is one of the fair’s highlights. Here, you’ll spot farmers and vendors selling anything from fresh Peruvian fruits like lúcuma and tuna (yes, tuna is a fruit) to a diverse range of potatoes (Peru has thousands of types native to the country). Quinoa is displayed and sold for a quarter of what foreigners are used to seeing at their local supermarkets. Bakers sell fresh bread of all shapes and sizes. Many vendors even grab some of their products and cook for you so that you can see how the raw market flavors can come alive with a few simple tosses.
As if the food itself wasn’t enough, live performances are served alongside the food to further showcase Peru’s diversity. Huayno (traditional music of the mountains) is sung and dancers perform in traditional, Peruvian clothing.
Food From Around the World
Despite being a predominantly Peruvian food festival, Mistura still keeps a global culinary agenda by inviting guest countries to share their customs and traditions with the fair’s attendees. Last year, Indonesia was selected, and typical dishes like satay and rending were served alongside the heavy flow of chicharrón, picarones and ceviche.
With that said, the agenda is primarily peruano. So, come with an appetite eager to delve into the many traditional dishes this country has to offer and you won’t be disappointed.
How To Prepare for Mistura
Show up with an empty stomach and a group of friends that are eager to eat. With that, you’re good to go.
Lima Mistura Festival
The Lima Mistura Festival is the largest and most famous food festival in Latin America. It is a foodie’s dream as it showcases the best of Peru’s many regional cuisines at very reasonable prices. Participants in the past have included established restaurants, food trucks, regional cuisines and famed street vendors. In 2016, the Mistura Festival reached nearly 400,000 visitors over its 10 days with nearly 300 participants.
Every year since its inception in 2008, people have increasingly flocked to Mistura to taste some of the most delicious, traditional and exotic Peruvian dishes and desserts. You can also taste Pisco vintages, artesanal quinoa breads, organic coffee and Amazonian chocolate. Or simply purchase a plethora of fresh and unique fruits and vegetables from the “mercado” section of the festival. The offering is so varied, that ten days are simply not enough.
Mistura Is Ceviche Central
Ceviche is a must while visiting the Mistura Food Festival. There will be no shortage of the fish-based soup, and you'll undoubtedly have your pick of the spins. Make sure that you try several of them out as no ceviche is quite like the next. Cebiche, leche de tiger, is a famous stew not only for its fish but for its broth base. Zesty lime, chilies, and red onion are so spicy and delicious that not a drop will be left int he bowl.
Kristin has been working at Valnet for the past two-plus years. In that time she has covered everything from trending topics in music and entertainment to parenting, sports and beyond. Prior to working at Valent Kristin ran a blog called Four Princesses and the Cheese and has been published on popular websites such as Sammiches and Psych Meds, Blunt Moms, and Red Tricycle.
Peru Food Festival is a “gastronomical, cultural” introduction – Bravo
By Samie Al-Dulaimi
KUWAIT, March 11 (KUNA) —
The Embassy of Peru in Kuwait hopes the Peruvian Food Festival would give the Kuwaiti public a taste of the South American country’s diverse landscape, culture, and love for food and life.
“The is the best opportunity to introduce our country to Kuwait. The embassy opened in November, 2011 and this is the biggest cultural event we have had (so far)”, Charge d’Affaires ad interim Gustavo Bravo told KUNA at the launch of the six-day event, on Sunday evening.
“The event is not only gastronomical but also cultural”, he said, referring to a group of professional dancers who were flown in specifically to perform the traditional elegant and colorful ‘Marinera’ dance. Preparing the food is renowned Peruvian chef Javier Morante, who was also flown in to Kuwait for the event.
The festival is being organized by the JW Marriot Hotel in collaboration with the Embassy of Peru and Kuwait’s National Council for Culture, Arts, and Letters.
Peru is recognized for its culinary tours, food safaris, world class cooking schools, and food fiestas – including the Mistura Food Festival. It also recently won the award for the world’s leading culinary destination at the World Travel Awards.
At the entrance, visitors to the festival were handed a glass of Chicha Morada, a dark sweet refreshing syrup-like drink consumed cold since ancient times, and which is the result of boiling purple corn with pineapple, cinnamon, clove, and sugar.
As for food, the oblong-shaped Tacu tacu – a mixture of beans and rice, fried and topped with breaded and pan-fried steak and an onion salsa – was both delicious and scrumptious.
Other popular local dishes on the buffet included Fish Ceviche, Lomo Saltado (sauteed beef), and Pulpo al Olivo (octopus in black olive sauce).
“We have coasts, highlands, and the Amazon,” said Bravo, noting the three geographic regions that support the variety of ingredients found in Peruvian cuisine.
Located in western South America, Peru borders five countries Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, and Bolivia. It has no doubt taken influences from each. It also benefits from having the Pacific Ocean to its west, with seafood playing a major role in its culinary dishes.
Ancient cultures that once thrived in Peru like the Norte Chico civilization, the Incas, and the Spanish Empirehave also had their imprint on its food.
By way of encouragement of Kuwaiti tourists to visit his homeland, Bravo described Peru as a “safe country” where one of the world’s wonders, the ancient 15th century Inca city of Machu Picchu, is located. “We have natural resources as well as modern cities.” The capital, Lima, is inhabited by seven million people, and though it is big, it is an organized city – and it is safe, said the diplomat.
“We receive around three million tourists every year and this number is increasing. Lately, we have been encouraging the visit of tourists from the Middle East, since hosting the last summit between Arab and South American countries in October, 2011.” “We have recently signed an agreement with Kuwait for the exemption of visas for diplomatic and special passports, which has now entered into force.
“In the case of Kuwaitis planning to travel to Peru, they need basic documents to show they are travelling for tourism reasons, like booking and hotel reservations. The Consular section at the embassy currently provides all of these facilities.” As for applying for a visa, he said arrangements are made over the phone with the required documents sent by e-mail followed by a short interview, he pointed out.
In 2007, a group of friends met in the north to go for regional food producers and as a bulwark of 'gastronomic boom' in Peru. Amid the debate realized they needed to step articulated and beyond discourse. Thus the Peruvian Society of Gastronomy (Apega) was born.
In 2008 he organized the first version of the food fair in the former barracks San Martin de Miraflores. That year, the fair was visited by over 30 thousand people what motivated the organizers to work hand in hand with farmers unions. Also this show was well received by the media.
Since then Mistura has become in a few years as the most important food fair in Latin America and continues growing in its international reputation.
Since Apega, the Peruvian Gastronomy Association that organizes Peru’s largest food fair, announced in August of last year that the Mistura 2018 will not be held on its traditional date in September and further details will be disclosed “in the coming weeks”, we had to wait until now (January 21, 2019) to hear from them again. The Mistura 2018 is of course water under the bridge by now, but it seems that in 2019 Mistura will definitely take place – but not the way we are used to.
Please note that this article was originally written on January 21, 2019. An update was added at the end of the text on July 28, 2019.
Mistura started in 2008 as small local food festival and thanks to numerous prominent Peruvian chefs and committed organizers grew into the largest and most important yearly gastronomic event in Latin America held at the Costa Verde in Lima each September.
Problems began in 2017 when some prominent supporters withdrew from the organization. Mistura was moved from its traditional location at the Costa Verde to a new venue in Rimac and postponed over two months just weeks before Peru’s largest food fair was supposed to start.
Then last year in April organizers first announced that the Mistura 2018 would return to the Costa Verde of Magdalena del Mar and be held around its traditional date in September, just to once again inform the public a few weeks before the start that Mistura will be postponed again.
So, now (January 2019) we get information about the Mistura 2019 from Bernardo Roca Rey, the president of Apega, which at this point should perhaps be taken with a grain of salt – at least until we hear more, according to him “in the next 10 days”.
He announced during an interview with the Peruvian daily Gestión that the transformation and reorganizing process of the new Mistura concept is finished and that the Mistura 2019 will definitely happen this year however, to the astonishment of all not in Lima anymore, but most probably either in Trujillo or Arequipa.
Additionally, it seems that Roca Rey and Fernando López de Castilla, founder of the Nexo Franchise, turned their plans to bring Mistura abroad into tangible reality. Talks with Chile and Colombia, but as well Bolivia are underway. So, in the future we might even see a Mistura in Santiago de Chile, Bogota, La Paz or Sucre.
Let’s hope we don’t have to wait months again to get more information about the Mistura 2019. We of course will update this article as soon any details are announced.
Mistura 2019 in Peru – Update July 28, 2019
Over the past few weeks we received several inquiries, if there are any news about the Mistura 2019 in Peru. To let our readers know that we haven’t forgotten about Mistura and our promise to update this article - which initially was written on January, 21, 2019 - as soon as more details are announced, here an update, even though it unfortunately isn’t one.
After the Mistura 2017 chaos and the Mistura 2018 fiasco, we really had high hopes when Bernardo Roca Rey, the president of Apega which organizes the event, finally emerged again in January 2019 letting all eagerly awaiting news know that Mistura is back on track and the Mistura 2019 is definitely on. Back then we were promised more info within less than two weeks.
But since then once again silence. More than 6 months later and we still haven’t heard a thing. Organizers seem to have disappeared, no news on the Mistura or Apega social media sites, nothing on their webpage, no answers to messages and e-mails and nothing in the local press.
As things stand today, July 28, 2019, we unfortunately don’t know if the Mistura 2019 will take place at all. And even if it is held this year until now there hasn’t been any official announcement where and when.
The only thing we can do at the moment is to promise you that we will stay on the ball and inform you about any Mistura news as soon we get them.