Fast Food Peruvian Style

Natalie Witschorik is a student at Iowa State University and an ISA Featured Blogger. Natalie is currently studying abroad with ISA in Lima, Peru.

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Peruvian Fast Food

Fast food: a simple word that is mainstream worldwide, but what do we really know and understand about fast food in different cultures? Do they have the same old McDonald’s Big Mac, Taco Bell’s Doritos Loco Taco or Subway’s 5 dollar footlong? In the U.S. fast food could be as simple as grabbing a gas station breakfast burrito or one of the slices of breakfast pizza from the college convenient store before rushing off to class. But what is other countries’ idea of fast food? I do know one thing from all my travels; fast food in different countries changes and the restaurant’s atmosphere and environment change as well.

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Inside Pizza Hut in Lima, Peru

Here in Lima fast food is done a little differently. They still have the typical joints we expect to see in the U.S. but also have some local places like Bimbo, which is like McDonald’s with a Peruvian twist. They offer hamburgers as well as traditional Peruvian dishes, such as sweet potato and even eggs, both scrambled and fried, on the burgers. It is a bit strange to me, but then again, the norm in Peru is to eat an egg with everything.

Another way that Peruvians get food in a hurry is by purchasing a full home cooked meal from someone selling it on the street. As you are walking on the bridge to cross over the expressway, typically people are gathered around a group of women selling traditional dishes right there on the bridge. They usually sell a meal of rice, pork or beef, some cooked vegetables and a drink all for $3.50-$5.00 USD! And we aren’t talking petty portions either; we are talking belt busting kind of servings. Now I am careful as to where I buy my street vendor food. I choose the booths that look cleanest and make sure I can’t see any bugs crawling around. But as long as I am cautious, I have no need to worry. The street food here is delicious and works perfectly when you need a quick meal on the go.

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