My Peruvian Culinary Tour

Last week I wrote about my recent trip to Cotahuasi Canyon in Peru. Today’s post is dedicated to my Peruvian culinary experiences.

Ceviche is a seafood dish popular in the coastal regions of Peru. The seafood is cooked not by heat but by the acidity of the lime/lemon juice it is soaked in. The acid changes the structure of the proteins in the fish, essentially “cooking” it. Ceviche was the first meal I ate in Peru. See below.

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There are numerous other seafood dishes including chicharron de camarones (fried shrimps).

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And here is some Peruvian-inspired sushi.

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Anticuchos (grilled beef hearts) are extremely popular in Peru, and for good reason.

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Not all the food in Peru looks appealing as these cow faces testify. No idea what you are supposed to do with them.

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The only thing that made me ill was a pizza made with very slightly rancid cheese. 48 hours later and 3 kilograms lighter I found myself pinning for pizza once again. I got lucky second time around.

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Below is a picture of me drinking a mug of quinoa juice at a bus station in Cotahuasi Canyon. The juice is so viscous it is more akin to food than drink.

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In Cotahuasi Canyon the population thrive on a healthy diet that in addition to quinoa includes avocado and trucha (trout) from the canyon’s river.

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Meals aren’t always easy to come by in the canyon. When I wasn’t dining on the above I survived on bread and the aptly named Sublime, a brand of chocolate sold throughout the province.

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After returning to the city of Arequipa from my all night bus ride I was feeling very hungry so I ordered this steak and chips.

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Realising that I had forgotten to order salad, I said to the waiter, ‘Salada por favor.’

Waiter: ‘¿Salada?’

Me: ‘Si, salada.’

The waiter disappeared, emerging moments later with a salt mill which he plonked on my table.

‘Non salt. Salada. Sa-lada.’ I was prodding at the salad option on the menu as I said this.

Waiter: ‘AH. Sa-la-da.’

Below is an alpaca kebab I had in Cusco. It tasted rather like lamb if I remember correctly.

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For dessert I had this award winning decadent chocolate creation, which I considered to be overly ornate, but it tasted good.

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Pisco sour is a popular alcoholic drink in Peru.

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No Peruvian culinary tour would be complete without guinea pig, or cuy as they refer to them in Spanish. Below is a picture of me about to tuck into this Andean speciality.

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In Cusco guinea pigs are served roasted (see below) whilst in the south they tend to be fried. What did I think of the guinea pig? Pleasant enough though rather hard work. There is a lot of fat on a guinea pig you see, but not much in the way of meat.

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