Peruvian Food is not that well known in the US, but it is gaining in popularity. It’s a wonderful mix of worldly flavors with Chinese, Spanish and Japanese influences, but their traditional staples are corn, chiles, potatoes (more than 3000 varieties). This is a shot from a market in San Isidro. I’m holding purple corn and rocoto (hot) peppers.
Red Aji Pepper In Lima it was all about the fresh seafood, as we made our way to Machu Picchu through the Sacred Valley (Cusco) is where they are known for Alpaca and Cuy (guinea pig), yes guinea pig. I’m an adventurous eater, but I just couldn’t do it. I did have Alpaca (tastes like a super lean beef). Here’s a more gourmet version from world famous Astrid and Gaston -Alpaca Three Ways (Tartare, Roast Beef with coriander, Burger w/Foie Gras)
At Maras restaurant in Lima they had Tuna Sashimi with olive oil and maras salt, but the oil was crystallized after being frozen with liquid nitrogen right at the table. Cool experience. You could taste the flavors of the oil, but after the ice melted on your tongue.
Inka Cola-Like the Peruvian Coke-tastes like bubble gum. I’m not one for soda, but had to try it.
Here’s a video of some of the exotic fruits at the San Isidro Market.
One I forgot to mention is Lucuma. It was big there, you know it is when it’s a featured flavor at Pinkberry. It tastes like a super sweet soft fruit with a maple taste. I didn’t love it, but it’s used a lot in desserts at all the high-end restaurants.
These are coca leaves! They are illegal here in the US because this is what cocaine comes from, but in leaf form they are safe, just like grapes are not wine, coca leaves are not cocaine. They act like a stimulant like coffee. We had it in tea to help with altitude sickness and fatigue in Machu Picchu.
This is a Passion Fruit Pisco Sour, but here’s the traditional recipe.
Pisco Sour Recipe
What is Pisco? A Peruvian grape brandy
-3 shots of pisco to 1 shot of simple syrup to 1 shot lime juice
-Blend with egg white for 8 seconds, fill glass and then add 2 drops of bitters.