(Republic of Peru, República del Perú)
- Location: Western South America
- Capital: Lima
- Language: Spanish
- Population: 29,496,000
- Total Area: 1,285,216 sq km
- Currency: Nuevo Sol (PEN)
- Curious Alcohol Fact: Happy hour in Peru means that you not only get cheap drinks, but the listed half priced beverages entitle you to two drinks, not just one!
- Annual Average Liquor Consumption per Capita: 6.90
- Most Popular Drink: Pisco Sour is made with Peruvian brandy (pisco) and blended with various ingredients such as egg whites.
The Republic of Peru is divided into twenty-five regions and one province (the province of Lima). It was named for the ruler Biru by the Spanish in the late sixteenth century. The country’s landscape includes the plains of the Pacific Coast, tropical rainforests of the Amazon, and the Andes Mountains. First home to the Norte Chico civilization and then to the Incan Empire, Peru was colonized by the Spanish in 1542. Although Peru lies on the equator, it does not have an exclusively tropical climate like other such countries. Instead, its climate ranges from moderate with low precipitation to high temperatures with equally high precipitation.
Originally populated by native Amerindians such as the Norte Chico and the Incas, Peru eventually became a multiethnic country. African slaves and Spanish settlers blended with the locals to create the diverse society that Peru is today. Chinese, Japanese, and Arabs have also immigrated to the country through the decades adding to the population and thus helping to make it the fourth most populous country in the world. Spanish is the main language spoken in Peru although several native languages such as Quechua are also spoken. The majority of Peruvians consider themselves Catholic.
While Peruvian culture is influenced by Asian, African, European traditions, it is predominately a blend of Spanish and Amerindian customs. Peruvian art is deeply rooted in Incan and Pre-Incan culture which can be seen in pottery, textiles, and jewelry. A traditional Andean flute called the quena and a leather drum called the tinya are popular musical instruments found in Peruvian music.
Peruvian cuisine is influenced by the many ethnicities found in the country such as African, Japanese, Chinese, Italian, Amerindian, and Arab. Popular dishes include anticuchos (small pieces of grilled skewered meat typically marinated in vinegar and assorted spices such as garlic or cumin), ceviche (raw seafood marinated in citrus juice), and pachamanca (baked meat such as lamb, chicken, guinea pig, etc. marinated in spices and served with sweet potatoes, lima beans, potatoes, corn, cassava, and chili).
Inca Kola is the Peruvian equivalent of Coca Cola, but it is bright yellow, fizzy, and doesn’t quite taste like the coke most people are used to. Pisco Sour is a very popular national beverage made of various ingredients including pisco (Peruvian brandy) and egg whites among others. Emoliente is a common hot, thick tea beverage that can be mixed with different herbs and fruit extracts. Chicha de Jora is another popular drink made from fermented corn.
Story By World By Shotglass
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Special thanks to our contributors:
Rebecca Dimyan, Danbury, CT, USA.