Peruvian cuisine has been largely influenced by the indigenous population including the Inca, and other immigrants from Europe (Spain, Italy and Germany), Asia (China and Japan) and West Africa. Without the familiar ingredients from their home countries, immigrants modified their traditional cuisines by using ingredients available in Peru.
The primary ingredients found in nearly every Peruvian dish are rice, potatoes, chicken, pork, lamb and fish. Most of these meals include one of the different kinds of "aji", or Peruvian hot pepper, which mainly are: yellow aji pepper, red aji pepper, red rocoto pepper.
Chicken, pork and lamb were introduced to Peru 500 years ago, when Spaniards came to America. Other ingredients, like potatoes, were already grown in the Peruvian Andes and were taken by the Spaniards back to Europe. Today more than 200 varieties of potato can be found in the Lake Titicaca area. They range in colour from purple to blue, from yellow to brown. Sizes and textures vary as well. Some are smalls as nuts; others can be as large as oranges.