On June 26th my girlfriend and I took our flight to Lima, Peru. We went to Peru for a little summer vacation for 2 weeks and we had the time of our life, we wanted to stay longer but all great things come to end but we look forward to going back again.
A little background about me: I was born in the United States. I lived in Lima for 10 years from ages 2-12 with my mom and close to my relatives. I loved going back to Peru because it is home to me and I wanted to show my girlfriend. We decided to go to Peru because of a wedding invitation we received and we made a vacation out of it by traveling to Machu Picchu. Food being such a big part of my life, I showed her all of my favorite restaurants and cafes that I like to go back to every time I visit. But of course we ate at grandma’s house for my favorite homemade Peruvian dishes.
I love shopping for products in Peru. Everything is fresh. This is because of fresh produce at street markets, including fresh chickens, and fresh fish at the fish market. A popular product is potatoes, since I was a kid. Potatoes have amazed me because at the markets there are over 2,000 different types of potatoes. A different type depending on what you want to cook or make. Everything is freshly made and most of the things don’t have preservatives. This is one of the reasons it is so great to eat the homemade food there. My grandmother used to have trees and raise animals herself for fresh meals.
When we had excursion to Machu Picchu we had to fly in a small plane. Something I forgot to mention, I have a fear of flying. This plane was old but they say that the older the plane the better it is since it has survived. My cousin lives in Cuzco where our plane landed, so she was able to take us around the city. We ate at Peru’s most popular celebrity chef’s restaurant, Gaston Acurio’s “Papacho’s” where they sell burgers and fries with a Peruvian touch. Such as alpaca burgers and burgers seasoned and marinated with Peruvian ajies. We tried an alpaca pepperoni pizza, we’ve never tried alpaca before but it was delicious, sweet and tender.
The next day we were on our way to Machu Picchu, it was a long car ride to the station, where we took a train to the city of Machu Picchu and then a bus up the mountain to the abandoned city. Machu Picchu was a city built for about 200 people and we saw how the Quechua people built a sustainable city with water and land for farming. I asked myself how they were so smart, the conquistadors never reached Machu Picchu. When it was found everything was intact as how the Incas left it when they disappeared.
One of the Peruvian products that can be connected to the Incas is quinoa. It’s almost like a little seed or a little grain of rice. This has become a very popular product in the United States because of its health benefits. I have experimented using quinoa in a few dishes. I always enjoy Peruvian dishes and I enjoyed showing my girlfriend Peru and all of the great food from the country. Can’t wait to go back for that fresh food again.