My Trip to Peru in Food

School is out and so am I.  I’ve noticed that I seem to go through these ebbs and flows in my life when there are years when I do lots of traveling and then years when I am in the US full time.  This also mirrors when I have at least one of the following 1)money to spend 2) free time (before studying for my qualifying exam, of course).  This is turning out to be a year of globetrotting.  After coming back from Cuba, which I talked about in my last post, I spent 7 days and 6 nights in Peru with my mom where we went to Lima, Cusco and Machu Picchu.

With all of the hiking, walking and stair climbing that was required for this trip, I had absolutely 0 qualms about eating whatever I wanted.

Before coming to Peru, I knew very little about the food options there other than Peruvian chicken–Pio Pio anyone? One of my classmates is from Lima, but other than the one time she invited the cohort over her house to eat, I had a pretty inexperienced pallet when it came to Peruvian cuisine.  By no means do I think this post captures what  local people eat, but if you want to know what a first time visitor might find, keep reading.

Every breakfast had some sort of a sweet treat.  We stayed in hotels that offered  breakfasts, and I don’t have much self control when it comes to baked goods.  The fruit was very fresh and similar to what is available in the states–I love mangos!
This fruit salad was only 4 dollars and it came with yogurt!
I’m sure that I had at least one Pisco Sour a day–they were so good and honestly give mojito’s a run for their money.  I brought a small bottle of Pisco home with me and may attempt to make the drink on my own.
I had the best Pisco Sour in Machu Picchu!
Restaurante Alfresco–food was good Pisco was great! We ran into singer Mike Bahía here too!
Quinoa was also in abundance, so I was really impressed with the way the many ways they incorporated it.  This inspired me to try and step my game up.
Quinoa soup with vegetables
I am also not a very adventurous eater, and I don’t eat red meat, so I was a little limited on what I could eat in terms of the local cuisine.  I had a bite of ceviche (marinated raw fish) and didn’t even attempt the cuy (roasted guinea pig), but I heard that it tastes like chicken with a chewy exterior.  They have over 100 varieties of potatoes in Peru, so I ate lots of those paired with grilled chicken or trout.
Cheesy trout and potatoes.  Coca sour in the background.
Also, because there is a large Chinese population, I had to try Chi-fa, a Peruvian-Chinese fusion that is readily available in fast food chains around the country. In a lot of ways, it just tasted like the ‘Chinese’ food I was used to here, but, I appreciated the experience.
My meal at the popular China Wok fast-food chain with Inca Cola on the side
If there are any great traditional dishes that I missed, I’d love to know.  Of course, there was no way for me to get really immersed, but this little glimpse into Peru through the food was a lot of fun. Do you all have any trips planned during summer break?  If so, what’s your vacation philosophy when it comes to health and wellness?

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