Ceviche and Peruvian Street Food

 

Ceviche, sea food, Peru, travel, Lima, fish

A perfect Ceviche!

It has been a short but wonderful visit to Lima, the capital of Peru, a place I love with all my heart as it is my birth place. Every time I go to Peru I have a special mission, and that is to eat the food I miss the most. So during my stay I was happy to enjoy a favourite of many, the popular Ceviche and also the Peruvian Street Food.

Ceviche can be found in many South American countries, but the original recipe is from Peru. Ceviche is fish marinated in lemon and served with onions, if you wish you can eat it together with giant corn and sweet potatoes. Nowadays many restaurants around the world offer ceviche in their menus, but the truth is that when it comes to cook a good ceviche it is about having the right and original ingredients in order to obtain that unique Peruvian flavour. First of all it is important to get a good fish which is tricky if you try to cook Ceviche in Europe. There are many ‘Cevicherias’ in Lima, that’s how we call a restaurant specialist in ceviche and sea food. The best ceviche is prepared with a fish called lenguado (expensive Peruvian fish) or corvina, but in the UK you can use white fish like sole, and you will need fresh lemons (not the ones in bottles). In Peru the best lemons are from Piura, a city located in the North of Peru, the lemons are small but very juicy. I prefer the Ceviche without chilli but others love it with lots of chilli.

Peru, food, Lima, Salchipapas, take away, travel, viajes

Salchipapas, don’t be shy and eat it .

The best Peruvian restaurants were mentioned by the CNN this year, and most of them belong to big chefs like Gaston Acurio or Virgilio Martinez, because those restaurants are always on demand then it is better to book in advance. But going to a posh restaurant in Peru is optional, and something I was missing a lot was the Peruvian Street food. One night I found myself looking for what it is called ‘Salchipapas’, the name comes from the main ingredients, the words salchichas and papas (sausages and potatoes). We ordered a ‘Mixed Salchipapa’ which not only had sausages and chips but also had pieces of chorizo and chicken. The portion is big enough to share between two and there is a variety of sauces you can eat it with, like ketchup, golf sauce, mayo, olive sauce and avocado sauce. Peruvian street food is simply big, there are many meal options and places with tasty big sandwiches and I am not talking about American franchises, because Peruvian burgers are really tasty, like the ones in Bembos Burger, with combinations you have never imagined. Also people’s favourites are ‘Pollo a la Brasa’ ( chicken bbq with chips), Chinese food (called Chifa), Anticuchos which is cow’s heart bbq cooked in spices and served with roasted potatoes, it looks like a kebab. Also something sort of new in the Peruvian Street food choices is Japanese/Peruvian fusion which is by the way amazing,

Anticuchos, food, Peru, travel

Anticuchos with chicken satay sticks, red pepper filled with beef and potatoes.

While we went for a walk to the San Miguel Shopping Mall we found a small place called Toku,this is actually a small stand selling makis and California rolls. We gave it a try and it was seriously good. Toku has something called the ‘Katsubun’, which is a furai crispy chicken served with a Ceviche sauce or ‘salsa acevichada’ and it is simply lovely!. Also, I was told about a Japanese restaurant in the Pueblo Libre district called ‘Naruto’ so we went one day to have lunch there. Naruto is a favourite for children as it is decorated entirely in anime and Japanese cartoon characters. The food is really good and it is served in big portions, they offer drinks like aloe vera and green tea. I have been surprised to find more places with Peruvian/Japanese fusion food, friends suggested me new places for Japanese and Korean Fusion food, so I already have a list of restaurants to go next time I go back to Peru.

Peru, food, travel, Japanese, Naruto, restaurant

At Naruto, Japanese Restaurant.

My advice for all those going to Peru is to be open minded about food, as you are visiting a country rich in agriculture so you will experience new and incredible flavours, you will fall in love with the Peruvian cuisine.

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Peruvian Alfajores on Valentine’s Day


Food, Alfajores, Peru, Dulce, Dessert

Its Valentines day and my husband and I celebrate it our own way. We don’t like spending money on expensive gifts and instead we like to do simple special things. Yesterday when I arrived home from work, my husband got these beautiful roses for me and I thought of doing something special for him too.

My husband and I love Alfajores, they are a traditional dessert in Peru, and I wanted to surprise my husband by making them for Valentine’s Day. Alfajores are two biscuits (sometimes up to three) put together and filled with toffee fudge (‘dulce de leche’ in Spanish). They became popular in South America with the arrival of the Spaniards and the word ‘Alfajor’ has Arabic roots as it refers to the filling inside the biscuits. Most alfajores are filled with dulce de leche, but others are filled even with chocolate fudge or nutella. Alfajores are usually round but as you can see in the picture I made the heart shaped version.

In Peru you can find many different types of Alfajores, the biscuits could be made with sweet potato flour or corn flour, it depends on the region. For example in the North of Peru you will find what is called ‘King Kong’ a giant rich alfajor filled with dulce de leche (called ‘Manjarblanco’ by Peruvians), fruit jam and peanuts. In Argentina the production of Alfajores is massive, and they are made in cities like Santa Fe, Cordoba, Tucuman and Mar de Plata. Alfajores are also produced in Chile, Colombia,Costa Rica and Mexico.

Alfajores are always delicious together with a cup of coffee. So now you know about alfajores and remember to try them when you visit South America.

Peruvian Invasion

Platter at Brujas de CachicheThe Peruvian cuisine has become very famous in England with London suddenly having Peruvian restaurants like Ceviche, Lima and Coya. So now there is a good reason to visit London, tour around the big city, do some shopping and enjoy the best of the latin american gastronomy.

But what is so special about Peruvian dishes that even celebrities have been spotted visiting restaurants in London. The main ingredients used in cooking Peruvian food are actually native like quinoa, maca, giant corn, aji and yellow potatoes, ingredients that give a distinctive flavour, both quinoa and maca are considered ‘super food’ with benefits for the health. Lomo Saltado

One of my favourite Peruvian dishes is Anticuchos which means ‘Cut Stew Meat’, but it is not simply meat as it is made with cows heart marinated in vinegar, cumin, aji, pepper and garlic, served with roasted potatoes and giant corn. Yes, and when I say ‘giant’ corn is because the corn from Peru is far bigger to the ones in any other country. Another unique Peruvian dish is Ceviche, this one is made with fresh raw fish marinated in lemon juice and has onions, aji, red peppers and is served with sweet potatoes.Giant Corn with Huancaina Sauce and Chicha Morada

From the UK you can fly to Lima with KLM via Amsterdam, Lima is located in the coast of Peru nearby beautiful beaches where you can find restaurants like Astrid y Gaston, Brujas de Cachiche, La Rosa Nautica, El Rocoto and many more, the list of restaurants is very long, Pardos Chicken and La Caravana are popular restaurants that offer a good variety of dishes but it is the ‘Pollo a la Brasa’ one of the favourites in their menu, it is chicken cooked in charcoal with pepper and cumin, but people says that its unique flavour is because of a secret recipe.Japanese Peruvian Fusion at Sr Llimon

If you travel to Cuzco you will have the opportunity to try Roasted Guinea Pig, Olluquito con Charqui, also dishes made with Llama, the well known Tamales and why not trying the pizzas cooked with local cheese from the Andes. The national drink of Peru is called ‘Pisco Sour’ and it is made with lemon juice and Peruvian brandy, it has a lovely taste but be careful that just one single glass of Pisco Sour will make you feel extremely happy!.Pisco Sour, Algarrobina Cocktail and Chicha Morada at Vivaldi Restaurant in Lima

So if you are planning to visit London or you are already in London forget about the diet and dont hesitate to experience the Peruvian Invasion and enjoy the food of the Incas.

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