Enjoying Peruvian Food, yay for our cuisine!!!
Lima Travel Blog› entry 3 of 5 › view all entries
September 27th, 2009 – by: yadilitta
Finally we left about 10:40am, pfff. We went by taxi. Nobody wanted to drive in the middle of the crazy traffic, nor to worry about where to park.
In order to go to the main square, you have to cross a street with stands both sides. They were selling cook books, cooking apparel, silverware, chinas, and everything you could need. Mmm, I would stop in my way out. There was something called Gourmet Passport that looked interesting.
I arrived to the square and started to explore the area. Mmm, I saw the "El Rincon de los panes y quesos" (Corner of bread and cheeses). I'm not that much into bread, but know my parents, aunt and cousin are. They were giving free samples plus you can watch the different types of bread and cheese from the country. I started to do the line - which wasn't too long - and called my dad. They showed up and took my place. At the restaurants you didn't need to use money.
I my way I saw a stall selling cebiche. Mmm, I took a close look and read the name of it: "El Veridico de Fidel". I always wanted to go to that restaurant - heard to many great things about it - but it's located in a dodgy area... nevermind, now they were here!!! Time to try it!!! There were 2 lines, 1 for paying and the other for getting the food. At the stalls the tickets system didn't work. You had to pay in cash. But it was so cheap... couldn't resist it. I had a "leche de tigre", which is the juice from the cebiche, but I saw they added it a dash of milk! Also I got some fish, corn and a piece of sweet potato.
I came back to meet my parents and my dad said they decided to leave the queue since it wasn't moving that fast for him, buuuu. He asked what I was eating. "Leche de tigre". He doesn't like fish and seafood very much but I was eating with so much pleasure, that my whole family went to get their leche de tigre, hahaha. I should be part of an advertisement campaign, hahaha. My dad was so surprised seeing me eating and enjoying so much the food and thinking about what to eat next, he couldn't believe it! According to him, I don't eat enough. Well, news! I eat a lot when I like the food :P Part of my TB secret identity ;)
At some point my dad was missing.
Well, now let's go to get the tickets. I didn't want to go back and forward so decided to exchange some money for tickets right away. My parents realized I was quite an expert organizing stuff, so they decided to follow me, hehehe. We got some tickets and went into the main food court. There you found tables - all were already taken - a stage for the cooking contests, and 33 of the best restaurants in Lima and other regions offering their food at cheap prices.
I had already made a list with the dishes and restaurants I wanted to try. While my mom was looking for empty chairs, difficult job, I started to check the order of the restaurants and what they were offering. Ok, I know this restaurant, haven't tried that one... which one is this in the corner? Was the pisco place, hahaha, and as usual with a line and it wasn't even noon! hahaha.
Came back where I left family and they got chairs, nice! Well, now it was time for me to go for 1 of the dishes of the list. Restaurant: "La Preferida" Dish: "Piqueo la Preferida" (signature appetizer). So fresh and tasty!!! They gave me 4 shells with 4 different types of cebiche.
Hey! there was a contest about starting. That would be for the best novel baker. It was about new recipes using fruits from the rainforest. Interesting, but not that much. Now my family wanted to eat. Would we go 1 by 1? No way lets go all together and so bad for the chairs, we could do a camping like many people were doing, hehe. Ok, better to split. I wasn't sure what to get... Finally I made up my mind, called my parents and they told me where they were.
Mom got food from the rainforest - good choice! My aunt and my cousin food from the north and my dad dessert he was full with the papa rellena.
We stopped to eat and met an uncle. He just arrived and was amazed by the lines, pfff. So good we arrived early. We were getting full, ufff. So we started to walk around and my cousin and me discovered something interesting. There was another place for food from the North. My ex boss in my former job loved that place. It's a small restaurant with a delicious home made food.
My aunt was a bit worried, since we both were suddenly missing, but then we showed up with the tamales, hahaha. We all 5 shared them. They were made with a really tasty corn, which should be a baby because it was even a bit sweet and our corn is not sweet, and in order to make it verde "green" they used cilantro. Really delicious. I always wanted to go to this restaurant "La Paisana", but could never find it. They moved once. But not anymore, I got the business card with a map to find it, hahaha. So, next TB in town... you know where we'd go, hahaha. Ok, that was official we were too full now.
My dad wasn't feeling so well and decided to leave. His back was starting to hurt, ouch! We went back to the center of the food court and notice there was something going on at the contest area. What's next? "Best Cebiche Contest" OMG! This one, I HAVE TO see it and take notes for the new places to try, hahaha. There were chefs from 5 restaurants on the contest. I have already tried 3 of those places, hahaha. The winner was one I've never tried, mmm. It's located in a dodgy area and the chef used a non so common fish for cebiche. But as the judges said: the only kind of fish you need for a cebiche is a fresh one. The chef was really happy with his award. I think I could even see some tears, aww. He didn't see this coming at all, specially because his restaurant was the only not famous - that was back then, right now it might be crowded.
Well, there were still many things to see here, but before leaving the Food Court, we'd have dessert. The "3 leches" (3 milks: regular, condensed and evaporated) is a popular dessert here and in Latin America. My aunt was looking for it. My cousin got churros. But there was still a ticket, better using it. And we got "4 leches". I asked my aunt which one was the 4th milk and she didn't know it. Mmm, I couldn't leave with the doubt. So I went back to the restaurant and asked the girl about it. The 4th milk was a dash of pisco (liquor), hahaha. That's a good one! We were a bit tired so decided to made a picnic, just to enjoy our desserts.
Ok, we had too much food. It was time to walk, pfff. Well, the Festival wasn't just about food. Farmers were brought from different parts of the country to offer their products. There was an area called: "Gran Mercado", which was a big open market where you could find things from everywhere in Peru. I found really exotic things here, like alpaca (similar to a lama) sausage, mmm. There were so many types of potatoes, chilis (aji), fruits, how nice! Of course they were offering pisco and other spirits, some of them from the rainforest. I wouldn't say no to a free sample, hahaha. At this time, I lost my mom, aunt and cousin, hahaha.
We left this area and went to an open place that was about the "rustic cuisines", there we saw the famous pachamanca (they cook the meat underground), chancho al cilindro (pork cooked in a barrel), etc. Wow, this part was a success. Most of the places run out of food. Mmm. Looked good, but I'm more about fish and seafood :P But I saw one I'd like to try. Took note of the phone number, since you have to make a reservation, just cooked for a certain number of people.
We kept on walking and my mom was getting ready to leave. Ok, but I still have a ticket and there was something I was missing and I wouldn't leave the place without having it: a Pisco Sour! Hahaha. Mom was surprised and I said: medical purposes, to help the digestion :P This Festival was about Peruvian food, but there was an international guest: Mexico.
In our way out we saw some singers and dancers playing Peruvian music. Everybody was happy, singing, clapping. Everyone was feeling so proud of being Peruvian and of course I wasn't the exception. "Viva el Peru!"
It was already 4pm, so after 5 hours of fun we were about going back home. I'd come back next year, that's for sure. Just read there were over 100,000 visitors to the Festival, mmm. This might get more popular next year, so same as this time I'd buy my tickets in advance. :P
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