Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Comida in Cusco

                 Eating is one of the most basic elements in life. In a foreign country, one must balance trying new restaurants and putting oneself out on a limb and having go-to spots where quality food is guaranteed. For me, despite the temptations to settle for the next-door Greek restaurant or the conveniently located Jack's Cafe right down the street from Casa Elena, I have managed to do my fair share of trying the authentic Peruvian cuisine that Cusco brings to the table.
               My first foray into restaurants that weren't located on the street of Casa Elena was a rather circuitous route to Greens. Expecting a vegetarian diner, I was shocked after finding that the menu contained many meats such as chicken, lamb, and alpaca. I was to meet Jingyue, Jiayi, Paige, and Sydney at the restaurant, and I had to ask about 5 different locals how to get there with many of their directions not coinciding. At long last, I found the restaurant and was ready to chow down. Putting myself out there and actively seeking the citizens of Cusco for directions was a learning experience, and I am definitely better off having spoken with them. Obviously, the people who stood out were the security guards and people with badges who were more qualified to know where the restaurant was. Getting out and exploring by myself in a foreign country was a cool experience, because it's not something one can do everyday back home, and it allowed me to temporarily take my mind off of class, readings, and homework for the Maymester.
               My role at the dinner table at Greens was much like one of the dramas in Spain that we studied in class: the lack of men. In fact, it was one man and four females. At any rate, I have yet to have a bad avocado ranging from Casa Elena in Cusco to the Blue Llama Restaurant in Pisac. The avocado toast from Jack's Cafe rivals the Cusco burger from Papacho's as my favorite meal of the trip, and the difference between Peruvian avocados and avocados from the States is quite noticeable. At the end of the day, while Jack's Cafe makes me feel right at home with delicious American choices, it is important to try things that could only be sampled in Peru. A recent food poisoning outbreak amongst the group calls for even stronger efforts to explore restaurants outside of Casa Elena that Cusco has to offer.
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