Tuesday, April 3, 2012

52 Food Adventures (Vol 6)- Eating Peru

You know me, always wondering what I am having for the next meal.

And oh how I love eating in Peru. Why? Because I can have fish every single day and it will all be different.

And I can drink Cusquena Beer to my heart's content. It is a bit difficult to get here in the States, although not impossible….unlike Primus, the national beer of Rwanda. I haven’t found a supplier for that yet.

I just thought we would take a short tour of some of the things that I consumed on the latest trip to Peru. I think this can count for a 52 Food Adventures because there were certainly several new food items that I hadn’t ever had before……you will see.


Sorry for the blurriness of the picture. It wasn’t that I had had too much Cusquena, it was that I only had the little camera with me and the lighting was low. And I was laughing at the kitten that was trying to climb up my leg. Yes, there was a kitten in the taverna. A bit on the “mangy” side so I declined to pet it.

Now back to the picture. These are not potato fries. These are Yucca fries. And they are delicious. A bit more of a dry and mealy texture than regular French Fries but so much better in the long run. And where ever you order them they seem to come with this mayo/curry sort of dipping sauce that is to die for.

I had a lot of Yucca fries in Peru.


Oh yes, again this trip we made a stop at the “Bread Place”. If it has a name I do not know it. I only think of it as the place along the highway where I can obtain little bread pillows of goodness stuffed with olives.

Oh be still my beating heart.

And since it was my birthday that day and we were going to the beach and we were passing, conveniently, right by the place, Mom and Alberto made sure that we stopped and bought PLENTY of the little “Olive Pillows of Heaven”.

I might have eaten one or five.


I need to tell you how they “do” coffee most places in Peru. They start out by making a sort of coffee sludge. A viscous liquid that if consumed straight up will strip your bowels of all flora.

Sorry, I said bowels.

What you do is you put about an inch of coffee sludge in the bottom of your cup and then you fill up the rest of the space with either hot water or hot milk. And you then have a perfect cup of coffee.

And believe me, I am picky about my coffee.


I forgot to label this picture but the thing I wanted to point out was the little dish of what looks like corn in the middle of the table. That is the typical nibbly stuff that everyone gets to consume when you are drinking your first beer. Oh and the tiny dish of salsa at the bottom right corner of the picture?

DEATH in liquid form.


We had Sunday lunch at this very small taverna that is located in the middle of this little market. If you didn’t know it was there you would totally miss it. You have to walk in, past the barbershop, turn left at the poultry seller and you are set. Don’t be put off by the fact that it doesn’t look like a place you should eat. Be bold! There were only about 10 small tables and a very small kitchen. But the chef was dressed like a chef so……Everyone gets a cup of the special soup of the day. This stuff was delicious, a fish broth heavy with chives and ginger…..but I did not eat the muscle that was lurking at the bottom of the cup. Not my fav. But I am going to try to re-create the soup part.


I have no idea what this fish was. All I can say is that it was lovely. Light, not fishy, delicate.

I am making myself hungry.


Locally produced goat’s milk cheese purchased at the local “mercado” which is one of the farmer’s markets.

All I can say is that this stuff was fabulous. Just tangy enough and with a lovely smooth texture and finish.


Holy Kalamatas Batman! These were just so very olivey and good. My mouth is literally watering at the moment.


This is Causa (Cow-sa). One of the national dishes of Peru that you can find in many forms. We were eating at a fancy restaurant so they made their Causa a bit more “froofy do” than you would normally find it. That didn’t stop me from eating it all up. Causa happens to be one of my favorite Peruvian dishes.

I ate a boat load of this stuff too.


This fish is Mero….also known as Patagonian Toothfish….also known as Chilean Sea Bass. This particular piece was the “cheek”. I don’t think I even knew that you could eat the cheek of a fish.

I am going to go out on a limb here and say that this might have been one of the best pieces of fish that I have ever had. Capers, lime juice, a garlicky sauce. Oh good Lord in heaven. It ranks right up there with the Mahi Mahi that I had at Mama’s Fish House on Maui back in 1997.

And I didn’t EVER think I would top that particular meal.


Along with the daily ingestion of fish I seem to have consumed a vast quantity of squid testicles tentacles. Sorry, family joke there. I love squid, otherwise known as calamari. I especially like it deep fried.


Ahhhhhh, a cup of good coffee consumed beside a raging river after climbing around Machu Picchu for 2 hours. Excellent.


I will tell you the longer version of this Pepper of Death story later in the week I think. This beauty was on HHBL’s plate as a garnish. It was just one slice and looked like a regular red pepper that you might get here in the States. HHBL didn’t hear Alberto telling me about the fact that he didn’t know the name of the pepper but that I shouldn’t eat it because it was hot like an incendiary bomb (my interpretation). Just about that time I looked over to see that HHBL was doing the international sign of distress, grabbing his throat and indicating that he might have eaten something hot. Evidently he had eaten half the slice of pepper in one fell swoop.

It was not a good thing.


Yes, not only can you knit with yarn made from Alpaca wool……you can eat the Alpaca.

And they are delicious. I would know. I had some for lunch one day. Very tender, intense “beefy” sort of flavor. Yum.

Oh, and that guinea pig?

Another national delicacy in Peru. But I haven’t tried that particular dish yet.

But that isn’t to say that I won’t. In fact I am dying to. The time just has not presented itself yet.




  1. I've the Iron chefs use the cheek of the fish before and they treated it like a major delicacy so I'm not surprised it was the best thing you've ever eaten. It looks like it. I've never seen olives that big before.

  2. good thing I was eating lunch while reading this. jealous jealous jealous. :-)


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