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Until most recently, Peruvian cuisine was hardly noticed abroad. Few outsiders had heard of dishes as ceviche or carapulca. Yet, Peruvian cuisine is one of the World's most varied and delicious.

Now, thanks to a vital generation of young chefs, many connoisseurs worldwide are beginning to discover it. The Economist magazine, for example, reported that Peru could "lay claim to one of the world's dozen or so great cuisines". Norman Van Aken, one of Florida's most gifted chefs, acknowledged that Peruvian cuisine was possibly the most enticing of those he had studied.

Two aspects converge to give Peruvian cuisine an uniqueness that few other enjoy. The first one is the country's enormous biodiversity. Peru is home to some 80 types of the world's 104 different biological zones, which assures an amazing assortment of fresh ingredients. Potatoes and hot peppers from the Andes, fish and seafood from the Pacific Ocean, mangoes and limes from the coastal valleys, bananas and manioc from the Amazon jungle: a chef's only problem is abundance of choice. Second, Peruvian cuisine is the quintessence of cultural fusion, a mix of Western and Eastern traditions. Over the course of centuries, Peru has felt the influence of Spain in stews and soups, Arab sweets and desserts, African contributions to Creole cooking, Italian pastas, Japanese preparations of fish and shellfish and Chinese culinary methods which have given birth to one of the most popular gastronomic traditions in Peru: chifa.

The originality of Peru's cuisine does not stem just from its traditional cooking, rather, it continues to incorporate new influences, preparing exquisite and impeccable dishes that have been dubbed the New Peruvian Cuisine.

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