On the second day, breakfast was one banana* de seda. Then I went to the gym and my post-workout meal was quinoa, almonds, two bananas (de la isla and manzano) and a granadilla. Granadilla is a fruit somewhat similar to passion fruit (I think they’re related). As passion fruit, granadilla is round with a firm stem (ressembling a lollipop), with a hard shell that surrounds a white cotton-like second layer, which holds inside the pulp and seeds. The seeds are edible and the pulp is transparent, sweet and delicious. One of the main health benefits of granadilla is that it promotes bowel movement (ie it helps you poo).
My parents and I went to my in-laws’ house to pick up the stuff I didn’t bring to Sydney the first time. My mother-in-law prepared a buffet-style lunch: mushrooms and chicken salad, egg and ham salad, boiled yellow potato, boiled eggs, white rice, ají de gallina*, asado (beef roast prepared in a pot with a tomato, onion, garlic and carrot sauce), roasted chicken, and tamales (they weren’t prepared by her, but bought in the supermarket). I’m sure quite a few people are familiar with tamales, because most Latin American countries have a version of them, but I’ll still explain: it’s an entree made with processed corn seasoned with sauteed onion, garlic and yellow chili, stuffed with chicken (or pork), black olives, more chili and sometimes a peanut per tamal. Then this mixture is wrapped in a banana leaf, shaped as a small pillow and steamed. This is the tamal criollo, the most popular one. I’ll talk about other versions in other post. There was a bottle of salad dressing and ají de pollo a la brasa, also bought in the supermarket, a chili sauce that compliments charcoal chicken, super yummy.
For dessert they bought a lúcuma mousse cake with chocolate genoise. Lúcuma is one of the foods I used to hate and now absolutely love. It’s a round fruit with thin green skin, a sweet orangish fleshy pulp and one or two big stones. You can eat it alone, but when it really shines is when mixed with dairy: in shakes, milkshakes (with ice cream), cremoladas (basically a semi frozen fruit juice or shake), cheesecakes, etc. There’s no lúcuma in Sydney, so when I go home (or a close friend does) I always bring several packs of powdered lúcuma, along with a few bottles of pisco (I’ll talk about it in a later post), powdered chilies, and other yummy ingredients.
At night I went to meditate to the Buddhist centre. After meditation there was strawberry pie in the cafeteria but I wanted something savoury. I had a pretzel with butter and a couple of dark Tim Tams that I had brought to share.
Then I went to a concert in a very popular pub in Lima’s “Newtown”. The suburb’s name is Barranco and the place is called La Noche (the night) and I’ve played there a few times. This time I went to see my friends Julio, Guillermo and Carlos, who have an Iron Maiden tribute band (the singer is Guillermo’s partner Kelly). I had a couple of beers, a Cusqueña malta (dark malt) and Pilsen Callao (pilsener). Both are my favourite Peruvian brands.
Back at home I felt a bit hungry because I hadn’t had a proper dinner. I ate a piece of turrón de Doña Pepa, a typical sweet that consists of baked sticks made with flour, lard and aniseed, held together by miel de chancaca (syrup made from dark cane sugar) and sprinkled with hundreds and thousands (those tiny multi coloured round lollies) and teeth-breaking flat lollies. This sweet was traditionally prepared and eaten in October, a special month for Catholics, but now you can find it anywhere any time of the year. A few years ago, some natural products brands started selling whole wheat turrón de Doña Pepa with dried fruit and nuts instead of lollies, much healthier and tastier in my opinion. Turrón de Doña Pepa is one of those things that I never crave and would never buy, but when I start eating it I just can’t stop. That’s why after having the piece shown in the photo I had seconds.
* The explanation about the types of bananas and ají de gallina can be found here.