Life in Huanchaco – The food

Peruvian purple corn with mountain cheese

As you can already see from the above image, there are weird things to eat in Peru. So, these are purple corns, that people usually cook with cinnamon, clove and apple to make the chica morada (do you still remember what that was;)? ). But apparently, no one eats it plain, with microwaved cheese – except me…

My slogan sounds like this: “Everyday a new Peruvian dish.” And I’ve almost been able to do that so far.

The main ingredients are: potatoes (papas) and corn, used in incredibly varied forms.

Tamale peruano
Tamale peruano – Mashed corn stuffed with chicken, steamed in a corn husk

According to the International Potato Center, “more than 4,000 varieties of native potatoes grow in the Andean highlands of Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuador.” Some of them live in such harsh conditions, that those potatoes might be able to actually survive on Mars.

Causa peruano
Causa – a layered dish made of with avocado, eggs, meat / fish and potato

But back to the food itself: there is a reason why other South-Americans keep referring to the Peruvian cuisine as the best of the continent. And if you combine some traditional things and Japanese sushi, you don’t want to eat at “Itsu” every second day (as I had felt before I came to Peru). A great example for that is the mayonnaise made with the sauce of ceviche (this is a lovely little appetiser of fresh fish marinated in citrus juices – as Jamie Oliver put, or even more than that). I’m quite lucky, because my host family runs the “Umi Sushi” restaurant just below my window, so I’ve been trying out stuff here too.

Peruvian sushi at Umi Sushi House
Peruvian sushi at Umi Sushi House – right under my window

And I haven’t even mentioned the sweets! I won’t talk about it long, but just mention two key phenomena: arroz con leche and manjar. Yummy!

Last, but not least: I should highlight that Pisco Sour (the lovely cocktail made of pisco, lime, egg white, simple syrup and Angostura bitter) is Peruvian, not Chilean. (If you say otherwise, Peruvian will be offended).

Enjoying Pisco Sour Lima
Enjoying Pisco Sour with my friend from Lima

So, I hope I will be able to learn a few recipes by the time I get back to the UK (and invite you for a Peruvian dinner:). )



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