Food! Glorious food!

My last photo blog about Peru.

What can one say about the food except that it is good. That is one of my main joys of traveling - sampling authentic cuisine and trying new foods (street vendors with their wafting aromas are a big temptation for me, this time I was a good boy).

The most common type of restaurant to be found is pollo a la brasa (roasted chicken). The most common chain being Roky's, followed by Norky's and a host of smaller restaurants. At Roky's they roast the chickens over a wood fire and they have the best taste. Norky's is indistinguishable from Roky'y - identical food is served. A quarter roast chicken with fries and salad is about 8 Nuevo Soles (about US$2.75). You can get the same at a smaller mom and pop type restaurant for about 4.50 Soles. The French fries are fantastic.

Chinese food, called chifa, is also very popular. Things like hamburgers, hotdogs and pizza are less popular (mostly only in touristy areas, but if you are really desperate, you can find a McDonald's, or KFC, or Domino's Pizza).

The national soft drink is Inca Cola (which looks like and tastes a lot like Mountain Dew). They also make a sweet drink (chichi morada) from purple corn. An alcoholic favourite is Pisco sour.

Peru has over 200 varieties of potato and probably an equal number of varieties of corn.

Arroz con pato y carapulcra (Rice with duck and a dish made from dried potato and meat)
Sopa seca y carapulcra(Dry soup (the noodles) and carapulcra)
Ceviche (a marinated seafood dish made from fresh raw seafood with onions, hot pepper and spices marinated in lime juice)
Ceviche de pato (Cooked duck marinated in lime juice)
Mmmm … lunch
They are not skinned, only shaved.
A tasty morsel on a plate. I was fortunate to have cuy twice. Once prepared by my cousin Imelda and once by my aunt Cecilia. You wouldn't imagine it, but guinea pigs have very tough skin.
Something to nibble on.
Me nibbling on that something. It has a taste somewhere between rabbit and chicken. Imelda's had overtones of rabbit, aunt Cecilia's could easily pass for chicken (and I am not choosing these foods because I have a limited palette - I have eaten many different types of meat and am looking forward to one day trying snake and dog)). Tania ate cuy. Jason kept calling it chicken, but didn't eat - he is a very picky eater.
Plateful of food: Starting at the top with the red pepper and moving clockwise: rocotto relleno (stuffed hot pepper), ceviche, papa relleno (stuffed potato), something in a mussel shell, some battered and fried sea food stuff, llama with some sort of vegetable, chopped up chicken rolled up in potato, and in the middle some seafood dish with potato (think of it as seafood shepherd's pie).
The spread I filled my plate from.
It was a big spread. Probably one of the more interesting items was something made of chicken blood. It was dark and chunky with a texture and taste reminiscent of liver.
It took three shots to get it all in and I didn't get the desserts (masa morada - a purple gelatin made from purple corn, arroz con leche - rice pudding, and fresh strawberries with chocolate. Sorry, I forgot the name of the restaurant.

All pictures are copyright by me.


freckled-one said…
The food looks wonderful..
You actually ate the cuy? You're much more daring than I am. I just can't see past the cute little face.
Cavalock said…
haha...i like what i see!
Richard said…
freckled-oneYes, I did eat cuy. Ten years ago I had it twice. These came without the head. Although, 10 years ago, when I had cuy in a restaurant (cuy chactado) is came whole - head and all.

In general, I have no problem eating food. I may have some issues if I ever decide to try insects though.

I don't think it is a question of being adventurous. Look at it this way: if God had not meant for animals to be eaten, He would not have made them of meat (not an original thought of mine, just something I read once)

cavalock: glad you enjoyed it! The food is actually very good. I am only sorry I wasn't there longer to be able to sample more dishes. My stomach also had a role to play in my conservative meal plans. I had to miss out a wonderful spread put out by my brother because my tummy just was not well - that put a 3 day crimp into adventurous eating. The hardest thing was resisting sampling the foods from the street sellers.
Esther said…
Richard, this post is making me hungry ;-) Thanks for sharing the link.
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