Saturday, December 27, 2008


Peruvian Food Part One

The first time Tito ever made me breakfast at his aparto in Japan he served me: soda crackers, plump purple olives, manjarblanco caramel, butter, cheese and pieces of apple. I thought it was pretty weird at the time, but enjoyed it nonetheless. Since then I have come to realise that it was a pretty standard Peruvian breakfast (except maybe the soda crackers – here they go out to get fresh white baps most mornings). I have also come to love it, and requested mantecoso cheese (creamy, aged dairy goodness) and the salty, meaty purple olives for our second breakfast here. Together, they make a great sandwich.

After drinking half a litre of delicious creamy lucuma (a wonderful ancient fruit that I am more then slightly obsessed with) drinking yogurt and totally breaking my stomach on the first day, I have laid off the stuff. It is SO popular, with huge rows of different types of drinking yogurt dominating the supermarket aisles. I might dare to try it again soon. In the meantime, I have enjoyed lucuma ice-cream at the beach, and a lucuma chupete (homemade lolly) in town.

Of course, the national dish cebiche is ever-popular and highly celebrated. I have had a little, but would like to have lashings of the stuff. Basically, fish and seafood, raw but marinated in limon, is served with thinly sliced red onion and hot rocoto pepper. There are many variations – the picture here is of a cebiche Tito had in Lima (I didn’t dare after the yogurt fiasco) with sweet potato, corn and seaweed. It was nice, I believe, but lacked the zing of a Chiclayo cebiche. I have decided that I am going to go all out with the cebiche - possibly tomorrow for the hangover (we are becoming godparents again this afternoon) - and sod the consequences!

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