In the past few years, Peruvian food has become more and more popular, and there is a new place to try it out in the D: Culantro, in Ferndale.
"We don't have a Peruvian restaurant in Detroit, and everyone needs to know what Peruvian food is," says Culantro owner Betty Shuell.
Shuell opened Culantro in May of 2018. After coming to America from Peru 18 years ago, she was excited to open up a restaurant serving the food she loved from her home country.
"Here in Michigan, Peruvians didn't have a place where they could meet, and that was my main point. I love when people come and really like the food because, you know, when you don't live in your country, you miss your food a lot. Maybe you can bring your family, you can make new friends, but you are always going to miss your food," Shuell explains.
So, what is Peruvian food? Shuell describes it as "fresh food that is so popular now. It's not like a sandwich, like rice, meat, vegetables, fresh vegetables, that we do every day at home." Their dishes often feature the fresh flavor of cilantro, which in Peru they call culantro, hence the name of the restaurant.
Popular dishes include Culantro's Pollo La Brasa, which is a rotisserie chicken that has been marinated in Peruvian spice for up to 24 hours and cooked in a special charcoal oven. Their steak dish, Lomo Saltado, is also quite popular, featuring steak strips cooked in a soy and red wine vinegar sauce with onions and tomatoes served over fries with a side of rice. The soy sauce used in some of the menu's dishes is just one way Asian cuisine has influenced Peruvian cooking.
"I love because people are learning about my country, about my culture, and my food," says Shuell.
If you would like to try Culantro it is located at 22939 Woodward Avenue in Ferndale.
Copyright 2018 by WDIV ClickOnDetroit. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.