1. Your earliest memories of eating involve you dumping spoonfuls of ají onto every inch of your food.
Who else remembers being three and gobbling down food so spicy that it made snot drip down your nose on a regular basis? Mm, delicioso.
2. Marinera competitions and Peruvian festivals were regular family outings, and you stood out like a sore thumb for not looking “stereotypically Peruvian”.
3. Panettone and chocolate caliente is a christmas necessity.
Sitting on your abuelita’s couch waiting for midnight to roll around, surrounded by alpaca figurines and dolls wearing chullos while drinking that steaming cup of chocolate and slathering your hefty chunk of panettone with extra butter is a yearly tradition.
4. Halloween and Turrón de Doña Pepa almost go hand in hand.
Every October around Día del Señor de los Milagros, you know your dad will be bringing home a box or two of that golden deliciousness, and you’ll dig into it eagerly with a thick fork as it crumbles all over the place and your cheeks fill up with sugary happiness.
5. El cajón, andean flutes, and guitarra criolla are immediately recognizable to your ear because of all the Peruvian music that floated through your house as a child.
6. You don’t particularly love mazamorra morada, you refuse to eat cuy because a guinea pig was your first pet (R.I.P. Chippie), and watching anyone eat pan con relleno in your presence makes you want to vomit.
All signs you definitely didn’t grow up in Perú.
7. On the other hand, you were eating pan con palta, yuca and quinoa before they became popular for health-conscious Americans, and your American friends thought you were super weird for it.
8. Meeting other Peruvians by accident is like meeting a long-lost family member that you didn’t realize you were looking for and never thought you’d find.
Most of the time it feels like we are unicorns in the majority of America.
9. Even though you grew up bridging two different cultures, Perú is always considered the motherland, and every time your plane touches down in Lima, your heart fills up with memory, happiness and love for your parents’ homeland (and so much excitement for all the food you’re about to eat!).
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