I've been missing Peru a lot these days. The landscape, the culture and the number one reason for me-the food! The food in Peru is one of my favorite in the world. Although places like Cusco and Arequipa boast some fine restaurants and eats, Lima is, hands down, the number one place in Peru to get the most amazing food in the country.
Before leaving for our trip to the continent, I toyed with the idea of writing a book about what people in each country ate for breakfast. I don't know exactly why what people eat for breakfast is a curiosity to me but it has been for some time. There is the whole 'breakfast is the most important meal of the day' thing but I'm not sure that's it. It could go back to almost twenty years ago on my first trip out of the country.
Well no, not an actual, real baby. But we are pleased to announce the birth of our new idea! Together with the help of www.comosur.com, and us here at ‘infusedexposures’, we have combined forces to bring you ‘Comosur Docs’. These are basically brief documentary, narrative-type pieces that detail places we have visited (mostly food-focused). We’ve kept up this blog for almost two years now and thought it was high time that our readers get a chance to actually come along with us on some of our adventures.
Keep in mind we are not experienced at video making nor are we professionals. We are shooting with equipment not made for this and have no budget or lighting. It’s just Laurent and I going off doing our thing and recording and editing it. And we want to share that with you.
We aspire to get better through experience and we hope to give you a little taste of some of the things we have been doing on this continent!
Our most recent video was about our visit to Salamina, Colombia and details how sugar cane gets turned into a product called panela.
In Colombia we also had an opportunity to visit a coffee farm in Salento where we got to witness the entire coffee-making process from bean to cup! So we made a two-part video about that.
Our next two videos will feature hot restaurants in Lima, Peru. One of these places is rated as one of the best in the world and the other is a newcomer that’s destined to be on that list as well. Stay tuned! Big things are happening!
We traveled north up the Peruvian Pacific coast, first stopping at the Islas Balestas near the town of Paracas, followed by the Afro-Peruvian village of El Carmen which lies in the province of Chincha. Peru has many influences including Italian, Spanish, Japanese and African. Chincha and especially El Carmen are at the center of Afro-Peruvian culture. From native drumming on the cajon (a drum made out of a box) to African-inspired unique dishes, you can feel the rhythm in this dusty yet charming town.
The history of El Carmen dates back many years ago when the Africans first immigrated to Peru and were enslaved to work on local haciendas (farm estates). The culture was born out of that time and has remained strong today. Afro-Peruvian dancing and music, exemplified by festivals like the Verano Negra or the Festival de Danzas Negras (held in February & November, respectively), remain at the core of El Carmen.
We stayed in Lima for a few weeks visiting the amazing sites of the city. There is just so much to see in terms of culture, weeks just simply wasn't enough time. Actually we didn't see any sites. I am totally lying. We did stay in the city for a while but all we really did was eat.
We stayed in Sucre, Bolivia for almost a month renting an apartment and learning Spanish. That's not to say we are experts on the city but in addition to studying, we spent a lot of time eating. We narrowed it down to our top 8 favorite things to eat & where to get them.
The first question everyone asks when I rave about the gastronomy in Peru is the inevitable "Have you tried the cuy (guinea pig)"? To avoid any suspense here, yes, of course I tried it. Since we are writing about typical foods in each country, I had to! And usually what follows is "but they are so cute-didn't you have one as a pet when you were a kid"? No, I didn't. I had a dog.
A continuation from my last post about the foods we tried while in Lima,Peru, here you will find an introduction to our first Peruvian dishes we discovered. This is only the beginning, stay tuned for more foods to come!
Of all of the foods I have eaten in the past year and of all the cities we visited in South America, one place stands alone as the shining star. Lima, Peru is without a doubt the culinary capital of this continent. It is putting not only Peru but Latin America on the map and is poised to become the next big thing in the international gastronomic world. There is a new army of chefs in the making committed to bringing the foods from Peru to the rest of the world. And the world, in return, should be very grateful.
After our rafting adventures, we flew from Rurrenabaque back to La Paz. From there, we took an awful night bus to Cochabamba. Night buses in Bolivia are disaster affairs. Okay, most buses in Bolivia are terrible but night buses are a special type of horror because the seats do not recline to beds, there is usually no bathroom and the roads in the country completely suck. This makes for little sleep with a full bladder on a bumpy road. Not very pleasant, I'm afraid.