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October 18, 2004

Peruvian Food

I think I wrote a little bit about the food in my first weeks in Peru, but I thought I'd write more specifically about it since I've been making a point of eating a bunch of local specialties lately.

First of all, many of the bars and restaurants in Arequipa are in these old colonial buildings with high, arched ceilings, and made of sillar, a somewhat sparkly white volcanic rock. Some places have built in a second level that puts you up near the vaulted ceiling, and it feels very cavelike. A great atmosphere for exploring some tasty foods.

There's a lot of Argentine-type grill places in Arequipa for some reason, so I had some really good meat there, including chicken brochetas, grilled on skewers. Some other tasty treats: rocoto relleno, a somewhat-spicy chili pepper stuffed with meat and vegetables and cheese (and sometimes raisins!); pastel de papa, kind of like au gratin potatoes; ocopa arequipeña, boiled potatoes smothered in a tasty cheese and peanut-based sauce that's often quite spicy; ceviche, fish cooked by marinating it in lime juice and mixed with chilis and onions--spicy and excellent; torta de quinoa, a dense, not-to-sweet cake made with the grain quinoa; adobo, pork cooked in a kind of dark, vinegary sauce (but different from the Mexican version); and queso helado, a flavor of ice cream which, for better or worse, seems to have nothing to do with cheese, but is rich and custard-like and I think has coconut in it. I also strive to eat at least one avocado a day, which isn't hard here--yesterday I bought two rolls and an avocado to make my own lunch, and it cost about 40 cents. Lots of fresh juices are available in the morning, and later in the day, pisco sours are a fixture--they're cocktails made with a local liquor, pisco, which is kind of like rum, and blended with lime juice, sugar, and egg whites--it tastes better than it sounds, I promise! There are also local beers like Cusqueña and Arequipeña.

Now I'm hungry again, even though I had a huge pizza for dinner! Believe it or not, the pizza is pretty good in Peru too, and I even had it with avocado as a topping a few times--really tasty.

Posted by Amy on October 18, 2004 06:27 PM
Category: Peru

yum. you are eating so well. on top of being envious of your trip, now i'm envious of your culinary experinces, too!

Posted by: rebecca on October 19, 2004 08:09 AM

The peruvian food, really, is one of the best foods of the world.

Posted by: Carlo Montero Schreiber on October 24, 2004 03:08 PM
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