Peru’s cuisine is ranked as one of the world’s best with eight of its world-class restaurants ranked in the Top 50 in the world. The country is also a trendsetter when it comes to introducing new superfoods - previously choosing Maca and Quinoa as superfoods in which the rest of the world took notice and followed.
Now Peru is stepping back to the classics - chiles and peppers. There are over 300 varieties of chiles and peppers in Peru, making them both common and popular in the Peruvian diet. This beats out the typical popular pepper countries of China, India, and Mexico.
So what is a superfood?
A superfood is a fancy marketing term used to describe foods with maximum health benefits and it tends to increases sales of a certain product - say Kale chips, when introduced to a wide audience. Usually, media will pick up on the newest “superfood” craze and begin flooding the internet with stories on everything from health benefits to recipes using the new “superfood” of the moment.
So how does a nation choose a new superfood?
Well, a lot of thought goes into this process like for instance, universities from various countries work together to see how sustainable a certain superfood is to the world population, how it can benefit the development of rural areas, and how best to introduce the food to the global market. Currently researchers from the University of La Molina and the University of Belgium of working together on The Capsicum Project to flesh out all these factors. The good news is the world market is showing a high demand for spicy foods and chiles and peppers are often the key ingredient to kick up the heat!
Why chiles and peppers?
They are a powerhouse of nutrients and packed with antioxidants, high in vitamin A, B, C, K and also in fiber and magnesium. And like most superfoods, have been shown to extend life expectancy.