Monday, January 17, 2011

Los Bytes de Peru

I had a work trip to Peru in September, and Lima is one of the culinary capitals, that's for sure. I had the opportunity to eat tons of delicious food, mostly seafood and shellfish. Man, did I feel spoiled. They have so many inspiring dishes using local fruits, veg and meats that even if we got fresh hear, most would not even imagine how to use them. Here are my Los Bytes de Peru:

Coca tea helps with altitude sickness, digestion, and jet lag, plus gives you a little buzz, which is always great :) This appetizer sampler has fried yucca, fried cheese balls (yum), and cheese "tequeños" served with an avocado dipping sauce and "aji amarillo" which is the chile sauce that is typical in Peru. On the plate is also Anticuchos on the skewer; marinated beef heart, a Peruvian delicacy. The meat is soft, and just chewy enough. So delicious.

This mind blowing platter has in the center a "causa" which is a crab salad and avocado sanwiched into those beautiful cakes of Peruvian potatoes; then at the top "conchitas de parmagiana"-Parmesan cover scallops; then going clockwise, fried shrimp with a sweet and sour sauce; white fish with blackberry sauce; octopus covered in kalamata olive sauce; and finally fish carpaccio. Seafood scrumptiousness!!!!!

These items came from a cute little restaurant in Arequipa called Cafe Capriccio. It was so delicious that I ate there twice! And it was so obvious that this was the pastry central of the town because both times I ate there, the cafe sold multiple cakes to glowing customers. The top is chicken salad with mango, then to the left inca berry cake, and to the right passion fruit cake. The texture of the cake was between a sponge cake, cheesecake and a mousse cake. Served with a "dulce de leche" sauce. Slurp!!!

A delicious typical dish of Peru called Aji de Gaillina, using chicken and that "aji amarillio". Very creamy and just a tad spicy.

Peruvians claim that there are 1,000 different kinds of corn in their country. Here are just a few.

Smoked local trout
Ceviche accompanied by corn and sweet potato. Very traditional Peruvian dish.

Typical Peruvian dish called Lomo Saltado; beef, onions and potatoes.
This is that "causa" again, this one stuffed with shrimp.

This "Diet de Pollo" or chicken noodle soup saved my life after getting food poisoning from a stupid empanada that I bought at the train station. Street food rule of thumb, "if it looks like it's been sitting there, already cooked, all day, it probably has." Make sure that the meat is cooked in front of you. The chicken soup above brought me back to the world of food. Thank you!

Here are some typical drinks of Peru. The pisco sour is made with pisco, lime juice, sugar, and egg white. Tasty drink, wicked hangover if too many are consumed. To the right is chicho morado, or purple corn juice. It is sweet and very refreshing.

And that in a nutshell was my foodventure through Peru. The food is very rich, and it is evident that it's inhabitants care very much for the quality and taste of their local goods. Delicioso!!!

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