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Peruvian Chef Cooks with coca leaves

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30 minute meals indeed...

and you know that notion just crossed my mind...

no meals on spec.

all meals served on mirrors.

yes those are just bread crumbs on the floor, please have a seat.

Grandma Gravis would be proud.

Edited by akebono (log)

Nonsense, I have not yet begun to defile myself.

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Given its numbing qualities, how can anybody tell what the food *tastes* like?

And how do you get a whole plateful into that little syringe?

This whole love/hate thing would be a lot easier if it was just hate.

Bring me your finest food, stuffed with your second finest!

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I guess nobody told this guy that the leaves that are used in coca-cola is a by-product from the pharmaceutical industry. All the cocaine has been extracted.

Living hard will take its toll...
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Gaston Acurio is one the few well respected latin american chefs who are well known all over the world. He was even a guest speaker at the 2006 Madrid Fusion show. I have a lot of respect for his food and his efforts to rescue native ingredients to ise in his high-end cuisine.

Coca leaves have been consumed in boh Peru and Bolivia for centuries. You need to chemically alter the leaf to make cocaine, but we drink coca leaf infusions all the time. They are particularly helpfull to fight altidude sickness. The natives, btw, chew the leaves for energy (just like some would stop to drink some coffee)

I generally enjoy Acurio's food, and I would, no doubt, try his coca infused food.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I just returned from an excellent trip to Peru, on which I will be posting when I can. I found mate de coca or coca tea to be quite helpful with the altitude of Cusco and Lake Titicaca and quite a delicious tea in its own right. Though I unfortunately didn't get to Astrid y Gaston in Lima due to a scheduling snafu, I did have a delicious Coca Pisco Sour at Huaca Pucllana yesterday during lunch.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

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- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

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Coca leaves, powdered coca leaves, and even coca extract are used in Peruvian cooking throughout the "Altiplano", or Andes area. What makes it unusual for Arcurio is that he's doing it in Lima, on the central coast, where it's not a common ingredient in the cuisine. No, the active ingredient has not been extracted (unless he's using some special preparation) - fresh and simply air dried coca leaves are used in the cooking. But, keep in mind, one ounce of cocaine requires a massive amount of the leaves - about the quantity that fits in a large commercial garbage sack - a few leaves have next to no effect, but they do provide an interesting herbal flavor.

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