By Danielle Lane
Peru’s standing as a gastronomic center has inspired the spread of Peruvian restaurants around the globe. As the prestige of Peruvian cuisine has become internationally known, Peru’s government has decided to open a museum in order to promote this central element of national culture.
On Thursday, March 24, 2011, President Alan Garcia Perez inaugurated the new museum, called The House of Gastronomy. The opening of this semi-interactive museum happened the day after the Organization of American States honored Peru with the “Cultural Patrimony of the Americas Award” for its diverse gastronomy.
Within the first four days, over 4,000 locals and tourists poured through the doors to get a glimpse of the country’s first museum dedicated to food.
The House of Gastronomy hopes to host private and public exhibitions, conferences, tasting events and other events that may help develop Peru’s prestige as a promoter and innovator of culinary diversity.
It has been announced that for the entire month of April, the museum will be open free of charge Tuesday through Sunday from 9:00am until 5:00pm. Canatur, Peru’s National Tourism Chamber believes that, along with the honor from the OAS and Peru’s candidacy as a UNESCO award winner for gastronomy, The House of Gastronomy will support and attract more tourism to the Historic Center of Lima as well as to the different regions of the country.
The museum has four major rooms that can be toured in roughly one hour. The permanent exhibit is a travel through time starting with the culinary culture of the pre-Hispanic civilizations and ending with today’s attempt to preserve traditions as well as create new flavors.
The museum has a number of other exhibits with few surprises; potatoes and pisco have a strong presence, as do the many other staples of national cuisine.
Perhaps most importantly, visitors are not likely to leave the building hungry. With an on-site restaurant cooking up all of the most important national dishes, it’s easy enough to sate the hunger that is inevitable after thinking about all that food.