Growing up, I was always surrounded by authentic Filipino dishes. Some of which are admittedly better suited for adventurous eaters. Because of this upbringing, I’ve never been scared to try any sort of food. Food tells a story of a culture and it’s amazing to be able to taste the flavors first-hand. We decided to venture out from our usual favorites to try something completely new: Peruvian. We headed to Tanta in River North to give it a try. I had never previously tried South American food of any kind so I truly had no idea what to expect. Our waiter gave us newbies the walkthrough and I was surprised to learn about the Japenese influence on the cuisine. The first dish we tried was the niguiris nikei, which was a play on nigiri. It consisted of skirt steak and quail egg. It was a tasty little bite – kind of tempted to try and make a similar version for snacks.
Next, we dove into the ceviche tasting. We couldn’t decide what we wanted so we tried a variety! The three had very different tastes one a bit spicy, one a little saltier and the other had a clean fresh taste. They had a variety of seafood including squid and ahi tuna.
Lastly, we tried the causitas tasting. This came with four different causitas, whipped Peruvian potato and aji. Looking at these, I thought they were very beautifully plated, but I had no idea what to expect flavor-wise. Each caustia had a very distinct taste from the other. My favorite was the one that consisted of octopus and avocado on top on the potato. Overall, the cuisine was nothing like I had tried before and it was a fun and delicious adventure into new territory.
Have any recommendations for new cuisines we should try? Comment below!