History
Chinese influence in Peruvian culture is one of the most important. In Lima we can fin “China Town” were Chinese immigrant settled in late the XIXth century.
CHINESE INFLUENCE
In Peru, Asian Peruvians are estimated to be 3% of the population, but one source places the number of citizens with some Chinese ancestry at 4.2 million, which equates to 15% of the country's total population. Chinese immigrants in the 19th century, who took a four-month trip from Macau settled Peru as contract laborers or "coolies". Other Chinese coolies from Guangdong followed. Chinese contract laborers, almost all male, were sent mostly to the sugar plantations from 1849 to 1874, for the termination of slavery and continuous labor for the coastal guano mines and where they became a major labor force until the end of the century. While the coolies were believed to be reduced to virtual slaves, they also represented a historical transition from slave to free labor. After their contracts ended, many of them adopted the last name of their patrons (one of the reasons that many Chinese Peruvians carry Spanish last names). Some freed coolies (and later immigrants) established many small businesses. These included "chifas” (Chinese-Peruvian restaurants - the word is derived from ch? fàn, or "eat rice" in Mandarin). "Calle Capón", Lima's Chinatown, also known as "Barrio Chino de Lima", became one of the Western Hemisphere's earliest Chinatowns. The Chinese coolies married Peruvian women, and many Chinese Peruvians today are of mixed Chinese, Spanish, and African or Native American descent. Chinese Peruvians also assisted in the building of railroad and development of the Amazon Rainforest, where they tapped rubber trees, washed gold, cultivated rice, and traded with the Indians. They even became the largest foreign colony in the Amazon capital of Iquitos by the end of the century.

In the 150 years since its arrival in Peru, the Chinese Peruvian culture has revolutionized Peruvian cuisine, gaining international recognition from those who have had the opportunity to sample it while visiting Peru. "Chifa" reflects a fusion by Chinese Peruvians of the products that the Chinese brought with them to those that they found in Peru, and later cultivated themselves. Even some "criolla" dishes such as "tacu-tacu", "lomo saltado", and "arroz chaufa" were influenced by the Chinese. In downtown Lima, on Capón Street, is the barrio chino (Chinatown). The great variety of savory and sweet dishes there, with different types of meats, vegetables, and soups, created a new culinary alternative for Peruvians. One thing that surprises the tourist that visits Peru is the large amount of oriental restaurants. There are over 2000 Chinese restaurants called "chifas". Peru is by far the country with the most Chinese restaurants in Latin America. Between 1849 and 1874, 100,000 Chinese immigrants arrived in Peru. Right after this migration, the "fondas" or places where the Chinese used to eat were the first ones to appear around the Chinese neighborhoods. Later some restaurants started to open up but it was only 40 years ago that Chinese restaurants where opened in the residential areas and through out Peru. The food served in most of these restaurants is from the region of Canton, but in the latest years there are also foods from Beijing, Shanghai and Szechwan. Now days, every grocery market carries a section of Chinese ingredients that is mixed with the local ingredients and seafood from the Peruvian ocean, which creates the most exquisite plates.
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