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What Is a Peruvian Breakfast?

By Amber Eberle
Updated May 16, 2024
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A Peruvian breakfast is the typical first meal of the day in the South American country of Peru. It is traditionally hearty, as throughout history many Peruvians have been farmers that work in the fields, starting early in the morning, and need the energy a big breakfast provides. A typical Peruvian breakfast may consist of bread and rolls, eggs, cheese, and some fruit. Beverages such as coffee and tea are usually consumed with breakfast. On Sundays and holidays, a more elaborate meal with traditional Peruvian dishes is often served.

Breakfast is an important meal in Peru that most people find time to eat everyday. While daily breakfasts are filling, they are also fairly simple. Eggs are a staple and may be fried or scrambled. Bread products, such as rolls, are regularly served and may be accompanied by butter or jam. Black coffee is a very popular Peruvian breakfast beverage, along with strong, hot tea.

The cuisine of Peru is an interesting mix of Asian, European, and African influences. Peruvians have developed a number of breakfast dishes that incorporate these flavors with the ingredients native to the area. These dishes are not usually served everyday, but they are very popular on Sundays and holidays.

In some parts of Peru, sandwiches are popular breakfast options. Two of the most popular sandwiches are made with pork. El sandwich de chicharron typically consists of deep fried pork loin served on French bread. Lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise are commonly added to the sandwich. Buttifarras is another type of sandwich served on French bread and made with Peruvian ham. It is common for salsa criolla, a spicy sauce consisting of oil, chili peppers, onion, and lime juice, to be used as a condiment on these sandwiches.

Another dish often served at a Peruvian breakfast is tamales. These are made by stuffing a corn dough with ingredients, such as cheese or meat, and traditional Peruvian cooking spices, which make the tamale slightly spicy. A tamale is baked and then served wrapped inside a banana leaf. Tamales may be served with salsa criolla.

Other popular Peruvian breakfast dishes include lomo saltado, caldo de gallina, and empanadas. Lomo saltado is a recipe that combines beef with tomatoes, onions, and soy sauce. This dish is typically served over rice with a side of French fries. Caldo de gallina is a rich chicken soup with vegetables and noodles. Empanadas are turnovers that are usually stuffed with chicken, beef, or ham. The meat is usually well-seasoned, and cheese may be added to the empanada filling.

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Discussion Comments
By anon967269 — On Aug 26, 2014

I have been living here for a few years and the typical breakfast at home is bread rolls, avocado, juice, egg or drinking yogurt.

On the street it's hot quinoa drinks - some have maca for energy. They also have a hot drink called emoliente. They drink hot watery oats- how gross -- and then there are the breakfast sandwiches. These are french bread rolls with a variety of fillings: avacado, cheap bright pink ham with plastic cheese, shredded chicken with crisps, cold potato chunky chips, a veggie pancake, tamale. fresh cheese which usually hasn't been refrigerated so it's off or sour and egg that has been cooked like rubber.

By wavy58 — On May 27, 2012

I cannot imagine eating beef and onions for breakfast. I think I would probably vomit if I did!

My stomach is sensitive for awhile after I wake up, so even American breakfasts that feature things like sausage and bacon can nauseate me. I tend to stick to fruit and cereal or oatmeal and save the meaty stuff for later in the day.

I suppose if I had grown up eating pork and beef for breakfast, then I might be able to handle it first thing in the morning. I just wonder if there are many people in Peru who can’t stomach the food that mostly everyone there enjoys for breakfast.

By ZsaZsa56 — On May 26, 2012

There is a Peruvian restaurant not all that far from my house that serves breakfast on Sunday mornings. I have been up there to eat a few times with my husband and we love it. It is not fancy or as large as a lot of the other brunch spreads available, but the food is routinely exotic and delicious which is mostly what I am looking for. Who really gets excited about eggs and bacon at this point?

By Ivan83 — On May 25, 2012

One thing that I noticed about Peruvian breakfasts is that they are almost never sweet. They are rich, spicy and savory just like all the other meals of the day. That seemed like such a stark contrast to the American way of eating where breakfast is almost like an entire meal dedicated to dessert.

By jonrss — On May 25, 2012

I spent some time in Peru and I ate delicious food everywhere I went all throughout the day. But the classic Peruvian breakfast definitely became my favorite thing. I especially liked the simple pork sandwiches that are so easy to find at food vendors as the sun is coming up.

There is nothing unusual or fancy about the sandwich. It is just pork, bread and sauce. But the flavors are so delicious and the meal is great for starting off the day. You look at an American breakfast that might include 7 or eight different things all served up on a massive platter and the Peruvian breakfast begins to make a lot more sense.

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