In addition, the impact of various ethnic influences can be seen through indigenous (native), Spanish, Asian, and African cooking styles and dishes.
The Pacific Ocean provides Peru with a wide variety of seafood, particularly for those who live near the coast.
Ceviche —fish, shrimp, scallops, or squid marinated in a lime and pepper mixture—might be considered one of the country's national dishes, due to its overwhelming popularity.
It is often served with corn-on-the-cob, cancha (toasted corn), or sweet potatoes.
The Spanish helped to introduce chicken, pork, and lamb to the Incas.
In return, the Incas introduced the Spanish to a wide variety of potatoes and aji (chili peppers).
Such dishes are often referred to as Criolla , or Creole.
Aji (chili) is the most popular spice in Peru and is used in a variety of ways to give food extra flavor.
One of the world's most popular vegetables, papas (potatoes), were first grown in Peru.
The earliest remains of potatoes have been discovered at archeological sites in southern and eastern Peru, dating as far back as 400 However, it was not until the 1400s that Europeans first came in contact with the potato.
, small communities were established and the early cultivation of cotton, chili peppers, beans, squash, and maize (similar to corn) began.
Most of the early settlers lived near the coast, where the wet climate allowed for planted seeds to grow.
Less regular are the Cordillera Central and Cordillera Oriental.