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As the Spanish gained control, they demanded that the natives grow such European crops as wheat, barley, beans, and carrots.
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.Meats and fresh fruits and vegetables are the basis of the tropical Peruvian diet.Bananas, plantains (similar to the banana), and yucca (similar to a yam) are readily available, and therefore are eaten in great quantities.Christian holidays such as Easter, Christmas, and All Saints' Day are joyously celebrated throughout the country, often with fireworks, bullfights, dancing, and roast pig.The remainder of the population adheres to indigenous beliefs, believing in the gods and spirits the Incas once did hundreds of years ago.Inhabitants of the tropical region also enjoy a variety of fish, wild game (such as boars, monkeys, pigs, deer, and chickens), and plenty of rice. Street vendors throughout the country often sell some of Peru's most beloved food and drinks.
Coconut-, chocolate-, and lemon-flavored tortas (cakes) are sweet and loved by Peruvians of all ages. Snacks such as fried plantain and chifles (banana chips) are widely available, as is Inka Cola, a Peruvian bubble-gum-flavored soft drink.
Africans contributed such foods as picarones (anise-sweetened, deep-fried pastries made from a pumpkin dough), to the Peruvian cuisine, as did Polynesians from the Pacific Islands, the Chinese, and the Japanese.
The Peruvian cuisine largely consists of spicy dishes that originated as a blend of Spanish and indigenous foods.
Salads in this region are also common, particularly huevos a la rusa (egg salad) and palta rellena (stuffed avocado).
The mountainous/highland diet closely resembles food the Incas prepared hundreds of years ago.
, small communities were established and the early cultivation of cotton, chili peppers, beans, squash, and maize (similar to corn) began.