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.
There are numerous other seafood dishes including chicharron de camarones (fried shrimps).
And here is some Peruvian-inspired sushi.
Anticuchos (grilled beef hearts) are extremely popular in Peru, and for good reason.
Not all the food in Peru looks appealing as these cow faces testify. No idea what you are supposed to do with them.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Realising that I had forgotten to order salad, I said to the waiter, ‘Salada por favor.’
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.
For dessert I had this award winning decadent chocolate creation, which I considered to be overly ornate, but it tasted good.
Pisco sour is a popular alcoholic drink in Peru.
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.
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.