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docsconz

Peruvian Food Markets

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I will be taking my family to peru this winter and am very much looking forward to the food scene in addition to the other attractions of the country. I am ever fascinated by food markets (funny that!). Given Peru's culinary history and significance i have to imagine that it has some good markets. Can anyone give advice for where and when in cities such as Lima or Cuzco as well as the area around Lake Titicaca? A related question would be, does anyone know of any food fairs around that time in those places?


John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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Hey Doc, how's your spanish... I could recommend you a couple of peruvian food bloggers that might know a lot about this. But I'm not sure they speak english.

In any case, Maria Elena Cornejo is a peruvian food journalist. This is her blog. You can drop har a line.


Follow me @chefcgarcia

Fábula, my restaurant in Santiago, Chile

My Blog, en Español

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I was in Peru this past September.

In the Cusco area I suggest the Pisac market for food, arts, crafts, not to mention Incan ruins. Also, if you have the time, you can visit the salt beds of Salinas Maras. Besides being culturally fascinating, Salinas Maras sells wonderful (cheap) fleur de sel in small tubelike bags. When I got home and discovered how delicious the salt is, I wished I had bought more.

If you can, arrange for a traditional Peruvian pit barbecue, or "pachamanca." Wow. We were served delicious smoky lamb shoulder, pork loin, spareribs, fish, several kinds of potatoes and corn in this fabulous barbecue. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pachamanca

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oops, sorry for the duplication. I'm asking a friend for the name of a good restaurant we went to in Cusco. When she tells me, I'll post it here.


Edited by djyee100 (log)

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Thanks for the response. a Pachamanca would be a good idea. I will have to see if I can have one arranged for us.

The salt is also something I will have to look out for.


John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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Here are links to the 2 restaurants I mentioned in my PM to you.

Pacha Papa  http://www.theperuguide.com/cusco/restaura...novo/pacha.html

La Cicciolina

http://www.theperuguide.com/cusco/restaura...cicciolina.html

have a great time!

Thanks for the advice. The restaurants look interesting. While it is fun stumbling into a culinary gem on one's own, the risks of missing out when someplace for only a few days are great. That is why advice like yours is particularly appreciated, especially in areas less visited by the members here.


John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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We will be in Cuzco next November ( and then on to the Galapagos) - so I can't wait for your review

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Re your query: "Would you recommend any must have dishes?"

In the Cusco area, the specialties are pink trout, alpaca steak, guinea pig, and beef heart kabobs. I can vouch for the pink trout, which reminded me of salmon. I ate it twice at different restaurants, I liked it so much. I also tried a bit of alpaca steak, but the restaurant overcooked it so it was tough and dry. A good alpaca steak would probably be like venison.

I tried the alpaca steak before visiting an alpaca farm. After petting the cute, sweet-faced alpacas, I couldn't eat 'em anymore.

I never tried the guinea pig. Reviews from other people ranged from "tastes like chicken" to "so gamy I couldn't eat it." No reviews on the beef heart kabobs.

When in Lima, try the fresh seafood, especially cebiche (or ceviche). At a non-English speaking restaurant, I pointed to "jalea mixta" on the menu, thinking it was some kind of seafood fried rice, and I ended up with a delicious deep-fried fishermen's platter with salsa and deep-fried yucca. Loved it.

Other Peruvian specialties: Lomo saltado, an Asian-style beef stirfry with chile peppers, served with french fries and rice; aji de gallina, chicken in a bright yellow creamy chile-nut sauce; and papas a la huancaina, potatoes in a chile-cheese sauce. Alfajores are pale round sandwich cookies with caramel (dulce de leche) filling--they're very tasty.

I look forward to reading your culinary reviews of Peru, also.

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Postscript:

The specialty cocktail is the Pisco Sour, topped with frothy egg whites. It is very strong, like brandy, and garnered mixed reviews. (I sipped a bit from somebody else's drink and didn't particularly like it.)

Also, I suggest that you stock up with ingredients like aji peppers (especially the yellow pepper, aji amarillo) and Pisco when you are in Peru, if you plan to cook Peruvian dishes back home. Peruvian ingredients are tough to find in the US, especially the distinctive hot peppers.

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We actually have some alpaca farms up where I live. They are adorable creatures as are guinea pigs. But then again I have also petted calves, baby pigs, lambs and think chickens are beautiful birds. That hasn't stopped me from eating them! :laugh:

Thanks for your insights. I knew about the alpaca, cuy (guinea pig) and ceviche as general areas, but the pink trout was previously unknown to me. I will certainly have to keep a lookout for that. I have some idea now, much thanks to you and a few others, at what to expect and look for in Lima, Cuzco and Macchu Picchu, but am still unsure of Lake Titicaca.


John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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In Cusco, I highly recommend Map restaurant. It's inside the PreColumbian art museum very close to the main sqaure at Plaza Nazarenas 231. I don't have the address, but would imagine anyone in a hotel could direct you to it.

They have cuy on the menu as well as alapaca. The strawberries in purple corn syrup is a do not miss for dessert. Beautiful for the eyes and the palate.


Erin Andersen

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