Of all the benefits Spanish conqueror Francisco Pizarro imagined might result from his midsixteenth-century destruction of Peru's great Inca empire, a culinary revolution producing what many chefs consider the most sophisticated cuisine of any South/Central American nation probably was not foremost in the sword-swinger's mind. Yet the cross-cultural criollo race, and eponymous cooking style resulting from this forced blending of European and indigenous ingredients, did start an innovative culinary approach that continues almost five centuries later, enriched by further immigration waves: African slaves imported later in the 1500s to work the conquerors' sugar and cotton plantations, Chinese to work the guano/nitrate fertilizer and metal mines, Italians later in the Nineteenth Century, and some 100,000 Japanese in the Twentieth Century's first half (resulting in Nobu Matsuhisa... More >>>