We must remember that there was a historical moment when the world collected a basket from Peru, with potatoes, beans, avocados, tomatoes with chilli and peppers, corn, and that these products were welcomed in Europe and the rest of the world and they became universal products. But there were other products that remained almost exclusively grown in the region, like quinoa, and others that spread only to a slightly greater degree, like cacao. And the great opportunity to be able to show a cuisine to the world is in the ability to show the products of your land and especially those products that have enormous potential, understanding that the world is beginning to fall in love with the flavours of Perú.
Therefore, to be able to universalise these products, it's an opportunity to bring development to our people, those who are dedicated to small-scale agriculture on the Amazonian coast in the Andes and in the highlands, so we, as cooks, understood that it was our mission to spread the products of Peru through cuisine in order to bring a state of well-being to the remote villages of Peru.
Today, Peruvian cuisine celebrates an important moment because it is one of the few cuisines that, in the last 25 years, 30 years, has become a universal cuisine, a global cuisine. Today, one goes to a city like Madrid and in any bar you can find a Peruvian ceviche hidden in the menu.
There are some statistics that are conclusive because sometimes a chef can be overwhelmed by his illusion, the illusion that your dream happens, but the reality is that, for example, in the 1990s in Spain there were four, five, 10 Peruvian restaurants, and today there are more than 500. But the reality is that there is nothing that indicates to us in the world that we live today, with the conditions that we have built on this road, that makes us not imagine that in the next few years we can reach 50,000 Peruvian restaurants.
With all that it entails, in terms of the presence of Peruvian culture in the world, Peruvian exports to the world, democratisation of wealth within our country, inspiration for the young people inside Peru, at the time of seeing this example and being able to do it with the cinematography, the music, with the design, the industry, with anything.
What Peruvian cuisine has achieved in the last few years is contributing to a new image of Peru in the world, to promote Peruvian products in the world to promote tourism to Peru, to inspire young people in Peru to have confidence in their identity, at least in the cuisine, to find a place of union and pride among Peruvians.
Having been able to turn Lima into a tourist destination thanks to its gastronomy, it is without a doubt something that those of us who have experienced this process feel very happy about. With everything that it entails, because it's not only restaurants, it's hotels, it's transportation it's crafts, shopping, it's everything that is involved when someone decides to visit a city. In this case, the pretext is the gastronomy.