Well, after 3 months in Ecuador and only a week in Peru, I must say, that I like Peru better...
That's not to knock Ecuador or anything. I love it there. But Peru is just..enchanting somehow. The architecture, the friendly people, the seamless blend of ancient, old and modern... and the food!
Peruvian food is known world round for its deliciousness, and the reputation is well deserved.
We started out in Lima, the new capital. A coastal city, Lima is a great place to enjoy seafood such as Peruvian Ceviche (fish 'cooked' in lemon juice and salt and served with corn)
or Pescado a la Plancha (grilled fish, here with mashed potatoes and salad)
You top everything with pickled red onions and Peru's version of aji, a spicy blend of hot yellow peppers, and wash it all down with the popular drink Chicha Morada, a sweet juice made of purple corn, pineapple juice, cinnamon and cloves.
Homeland of the potato and home to over 80 varieties of corn, Sweet Potato chips and Popcorn are popular street foods throughout Peru
Then we went to Cuzco, a city in the mountains and the old national capital. Although they don't have seafood, Andean trout is a local favorit and delicacy, and I enjoyed some in a tradtional soup called Chupe de Trucha - a variant of Chupe de Camarones (also pictured below) - a spicy tomato broth and vegetable soup with rice, cheese, a poached egg and a fillet of trout.
But even better in Cuzco is the Alpaca. It is like steak, only better. Tender, slightly sweet and gamey, it is falvorful and contains almost no fat. I had it here as Brocettas or skewers. with a peanutty-garlic sauce.
Another skewer I tried was another national favorite, Anticuchos, or roasted Cow Heart. I thought it would be tough and dry, but it was actually extremely tender and flavorful. Deliciouse in fact.
Other typical foods are Sopa de Quinoa - a grain native to the Andes and rich in protein
and Alfahores (cookies stuck together with manjar/dulce de leche)
And I would be remiss if I did not mention the ubiquitous Coca Leaf tea and Pisco Sours. Coca leaf is everywhere in Peru - to chew as leaves, drink as teas, eat in cookies or enjoy as candy. It helps with the altitude, staunches hunger, and stimulates like a cup of coffee.
Pisco, the national Peruvian alchohol, is made from grapes and is drunk mixed with sour mix, egg white and bitters to make the national drink, a Pisco Sour (tastes like a tangy/fluffy margharita)
Some other typical favorites are Lomo a la Pobre (thin steak over rice with fried egg and plantains)
Lomo Saltad0 - a chinese/peruvianfusion of stirfried beef in Peruvian and Chinese spices over french fries
and Aji de Gallina - chicken stewed in a cheesey yellow pepper sauce with rice
And lastly, a Maricuyah Mousse (passionfruit), because everything Maricuyah is deliciouse