Perico is a popular Colombian and Venezuelan dish. It is a savory breakfast preparation, but can be consumed at any time of the day. Although the dish is commonly found in restaurants, cafes and eateries, it is one of the most regularly made household preparations.
The name of the preparation is taken from the Spanish word for parrot. Many believe that it is because of the combination of red, yellow and green colors found on the plate (the colors found on the body of a parrot) when the dish is made with traditional ingredients.
The dish has been an important part of the Venezuelan and Colombian cuisines for a very long time. While its exact origin is largely unknown, there are different theories about how it came into being. On a very basic level, perico is viewed as a variation of the scrambled egg.
Perico Recipe: Common Ingredients Used
When prepared in its most traditional form, Perico is a simple dish and requires the use of eggs, butter, onion and tomatoes. There are, however, more elaborate versions which call for the use of more vegetables, and even meats. Ground pepper and annatto are popularly used, and sometimes even hot peppers are a part of the recipe.
As there is no single recipe to make the dish, various ingredients can be used to add flavor and color to the preparation.
Perico Recipe: Preparation Overview
In its traditional form, Perico is fairly easy to make and the preparation time is usually about 20 to 25 minutes. The vegetables to be added are first sautéed and then mixed with the eggs. Cooking is the common method of preparation.
The preparation time and method, however, largely depend on the ingredients being used. If diced meat is added, it will take longer to cook. Also, the vegetables can be added raw and cooked along with the eggs.
Basically, perico is simply made by preparing all the ingredients, mixing them as required and cooking till the desired level of doneness is achieved. Traditionally, the eggs are left a little moist, but there is almost no liquid visible on the plate or in the cooking pan.
Serving and Eating Perico
The dish is traditionally served hot, as a breakfast dish. It can be eaten alone or with bread. The dish can also be used as an arepa filling, which is a common practice, especially when it is being consumed as a snack. The egg dish can be a meal all by itself, an appetizer or a part of a major breakfast, lunch or dinner meal. A slice of cheese is often placed on the dish as it is served and the cheese slowly melts on the hot eggs, making them more flavorful.
Perico Recipe: Popular Variations
Perico is one of the most commonly cooked dishes of Venezuela and Colombia and almost every family has its own version to make it. Recipes and ingredients are different in almost every household. In restaurants and cafes as well, the recipes tend to differ. The dish is largely experimented with and therefore, there are various variations of it.
Perico : Trivia
Sometimes 'perico' is used to refer to a certain kind of drug and this once led to false beliefs that the dish probably contained some amount of the drug.