Guinea Pig, Lemon Meringue followed by 40% Brandy

Trip Start Dec 10, 2011
Trip End Sep 29, 2012

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Flag of Peru  , Provincia de Lima,
Friday, May 4, 2012

After arriving quite sick to Puno after my altitude sickness I laid low till almost 3pm in the afternoon after skyping, I then ventured out to eat something emerging a bit happier and feeling a bit better, lots of hot tea and biscuits and being amused by two 19 year old Swiss boys with stories of protests and strikes including tear gas in their eyes in La Paz.

The hostel lady who had been asking me if I was ok or did I need a doctor, told me I now looked like a new person compared to who she saw the night before, she recommended a good place for a menu del dia. I went to this place, sat down at the table and the waiter smugly told me there is only a tourist menu, tourist? What, like we eat different things? And for three times the price of the normal one, I knew when I was being had. I put my coat back on and told them 'ciao'. I then went to a recommended place from my trusty footprint guidebook and ate a lovely Peruvian lunch in La Estancia, I ate very slowly and finished my plate, but I felt sick still from being ill and my first big meal in a while. Locals were eating large plates of barbeque meats, there were posters of the Beatles adorning the walls, one with the Let it Be song, a sign I thought?!

Unfortunately my memories of Peru won’t be of churches visited, or how helpful the people were but of the great food! I hope the next country won’t treat me like a walking neon, flashing dollar sign! Luckily what the scammers and touts did, the wonderful tasty Peruvian food made up for! Let me tell you a bit about the food…

Lemon meringue to die for

Sauce finally on the dishes

Lots of cakes and so many varieties

Potatoes, nearly 500 types and I ate a few J including a great dish of what tasted like a jacket potato topped with a beer and chicken dish with creamy sauce!

Guniea-Pig, Cuy, yes we ate a typical pet in my country

Dark beer that tasted great, Dad’s discovery which was the local beer called ‘Black beer’ in Spanish, a bit like a bitter back home , well as near as you would get to one.

The most drunk drink was Inka Cola, their version but made with a lot of sugar and lemongrass, it was refreshing

In Lima we sampled some great food, from local restaurant we stumbled upon that had local dishes with the locals pouring in to eat. One dish was potatoes in an oil and garlic sauce with pork belly fat, Dad loved this, another was a chicken and rice mixed with a lovely garlic and coriander flavouring, hello spice I thought to myself and sauce after frankly a drought of it for the last 4 months traveling in Latin America.

The bread also rocked, really, the first day I sampled some I was wow I have been missing good normal bread!

We also ate in Lima, ceviche, a white sea fish, marinated not cooked in vinegar and oil and served with raw onion and salad dressing, absolutely delicious.

The other drink which is a national one, and I made sure I tried a lot of them, was the Pisco Sour, we even learnt how to make this in one restaurant. It’s made of a 40% brandy and knocked my head off after two of them, I also tried the version with Maracuya, deliciosco!! We did have to go careful on the alcohol in Peru due to preparing for the Inka Trail and dealing with the altitude.

Quinoa soap, apparently an expensive vegetarian option in our countries, but in abundant supply here.

There was the beer made from maize we drank, locals would sit in the places it is made for the afternoon sharing a large glass around and I sipped a bit and it was very strong, more than 50% we were told.

In Arequipa was my most interesting breakfast to date, a beef stir-fry on some cold potatoes fries and rice served with some hard crusty and inedible bread. I always like to choose different things on the menu and it was listed under ‘desayuno’ so I went for it, without realising what it was, however since I had just got off a night bus I was quite hungry and my body thought this was my dinner anyway not breakfast. Luckily the potato dish and a wonderful ‘menu del dia’ made up for this bad start in Arequipa. Hopefully this good food will continue as I cross into the next country Bolivia.
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