Holidays in Lima (April 16 2010)

On the third day I overslept. I had been out the night before and I just lost track of time. My breakfast, at noon, was two bananas* (de la isla and manzano). Then I took a taxi and went to Segundo Muelle, a cebichería (seafood restaurant) where I met my ex-colleagues from Ernst & Young. We ordered two jugs of chicha morada, a sweet and refreshing drink made by boiling purple corn with pineapple skin, cinnamon and cloves. Before serving, sugar and lime juice are added. I drank as much as I could when I was there because, unlike lúcuma**, the powdered stuff is terrible, tastes like a lolly. I ordered cebiche de lenguado, langostino y pulpo (raw fish, cooked prawn and cooked octopus mixed with sliced onions, salt, chili and lime juice, served with corn and sweet potato), and a tamalito verde (green tamal**, the colour and flavour come from fresh coriander). I also tried tiradito a la huancaína (sashimi-style fish with huancaína sauce, made with yellow chili, oil, feta cheese, evaporated milk and soda crackers), piqueo Entre Causas (yellow potato causa* and sweet potato causa, with cooked seafood between them) and arroz con conchas negras (rice with black mussels), all of them very tasty. There was no room for dessert, but I gave them a big Tim Tam pack for afternoon tea in the office.

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In the afternoon, in an Internet cafe I spotted doncellas, a sweet similar to turrón de Doña Pepa but very small, orange in colour and without lollies. I love those, so I ate one as dessert. After training in the gym I had a papaya and banana juice.

At night I went out with my friends from uni. We went to Cocodrilo Verde, a restaurant/bar with live shows. There was a three-men jazz band from the US playing that night. When choosing drinks I decide to have something with pisco, our national liquor made from distilled grape must (the just pressed grape juice that contains all solid parts of the fruit). I chose suspiro de lúcuma (pisco, milk, lúcuma, jarabe de goma, cinnamon and whipped cream). I know, I know, it was more a calorie-loaded alcoholic dessert than a drink, but it was really good. Actually, it’s named after our typical dessert suspiro a la limeña, which consists of a layer of manjarblanco (aka dulce de leche or caramel) mixed with raw egg yolks, topped with Italian meringue infused with cinnamon and port. It’s sweet as hell but delicious. It’s better eaten while drinking a large glass of water or a pisco shot to cut the sweetness. Back to the drinks ingredients, jarabe de goma is a syrup infused with citrus, used in lots of Peruvian cocktails.

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We order some food to nibble on while chatting: piqueo criollo (fried yuca with huancaína sauce, corn with chili sauce, tamalito, humita, chicharrón de pollo or fried chicken morsels) and crunchy prawns with passion fruit sauce. Humita is another kind of tamal, the main difference is that the corn isn’t mixed with chili. The food was beautiful. When I finished my drink/dessert I order another pisco cocktail called pisquiri de mango (mango daikiri with pisco instead of rhum), also very nice.

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Back home I wasn’t really hungry but I wanted to eat something. There was some asado with mashed potatoes left from lunch, one of the many dishes my mum cooks really well, so I had a full-size serving.

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* The explanation about the types of bananas and causa can be found here.

** The explanation about lúcuma and tamales can be found here.


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