Chifles are a popular snack in Peru. They are thin slices of Green plantains that have a unique flavor. In some cases it is salt and in other a bit sweet. These delicious snacks are typical of Peru’s north, especially the region of Piura.
The plantains used to fry for this treat should in most cases be green and not ripe. When green they are still firm and not too sweet. As a result of their texture the slices keep their shape and their flavor, their balance of starch and sweet, is perfect. If you want sweeter chifles, you choose a riper plantain, but then you begin to lose control of the shape.
When you travel to Peru’s north it is hard to miss this typical snack. You will see them piled up for sale and you can buy them in the quantity you wish, whether a half kilo or a whole kilo. Though originating in Piura, these delights are sold in many cities of the north. They are often found for sale on the streets. Many people will buy fifty cents worth in a small plastic bag or even a larger bag for one sol as they walk by.
Besides the chifles, there are also sliced and fried sweet potatoes, we call them camotes, potato chips, toasted corn, toasted broad beans, and more. There is a world of such small treats on our streets. They help you get through an afternoon and are good to share with your friends.
You can always count on finding chifles and others of these traditional snacks in our bus terminals. People buy them to help them get through a trip and to carry to other places with them. In that way the flavor and delight have spread through out the country as they are beginning to do in the world.