I’ll start off by stating that Andean cheese is grosso! Okay, that's the main purpose of this blog...
Peruvian food overall is very distinct in flavors and textures. My mistake was assuming it’d be like Mexican food. While there were some great dishes, like Lomo Saltado, there were far more dishes that I did not like. The soup appetizers at Casa Elena were almost always a hit with everyone, but to me it was either not salty enough or very grainy. Sometimes too much like an aquarium. The worse was definitely the desserts! From grainy chocolate pudding flan, to Robitussin jello, to even canned fruit cocktail, desserts at lunch were all a struggle. Ask Soy Steve.
One of the major differences between Cusco and Lima was definitely the food. For example, the biggest difference had to be the cooking time. In Cusco, food had to be cooked way longer due to the high altitude and many of the common dishes required a pressure cooker. Elena, our cooking instructor, said that when making chicken, it must be cooked for an hour and a half. As someone who cooks on a regular basis, that would drive me insane. When we learned how to make Lomo Saltado it took us hours, not including the prep time the instructors spent prior to the class. In Lima, the same dish takes 15 to 20 minutes, according to Elena. This was experienced at restaurants during dinner. In the highlands, it took our food at least 45 minutes to be served after ordering while in Lima it took a third of that time.
Foods and drinks to try while in Peru:
- Pollo a la Brasa
- Lomo Saltado
- Alpaca and Cuy
- Jugo Natural
- Chicha Morada at Kushka...fe
- Cua Cua and Sublimes
- Whole shrimp at Lunahuana
- Bembos and Big Max