Soda Crackers and Coke
Puno Travel Blog› entry 14 of 26 › view all entries
Sigh. This is what I consume when I get a bit of tummy trouble. It seems that some food I picked up at a train stop didn't go down well - I think it was just some bakery product by a Quechua woman - which surprises me as baked goods rarely cause any problems. Anyways, I'm almost over it, and I thought I'd take the opportunity now to reflect on my food experiences in Peru thus far.
I have to admit though, that thus far, it's pretty easy to be a vegetarian. Most of the major cities have veg restaurants (usually named Govinda), and they're quite good, considering tasty items such as avacado and papaya can be found easily here. I'm a pescatarian (though minimal on the fish), but here's where I went on a tangent to try something weird, because it's in my nature to have a culinary adventure when I travel.
- Cuy. (pronounced quee) This is the guinea pig dinner I wrote about in my Cuzco post. Some people like it, but I don't like the way it's cooked - too greasy and salty. It usually comes with its head attached too.
- Alpaca. Well, alpacas make really nice, soft, warm sweaters sold all over the place here. They also seem to make great steaks. I tried a little, and I have to admit, it's pretty damn good!
Peruvian food is pretty nice, but there are a slew of really nice restaurants here that do a fusion of Peruvian and other cuisines, which make choosing a place to have dinner really difficult. I have yet to try the ceviche (marinate raw white fish), because I'm not on the coast, where it is considered to be the best. In the interim period, while I'm in Lake Titicaca, the trout is fantastic, and if perjerrey (king fisher) is in season, always go for that over the trout.
I also wandered off on the island of Taquile today to try out some street ("island") food. I encountered a woman who was grilling marinated meat and potatoes under an umbrella.I couldn't resist. I tucked myself amongst the locals, crouched near the ground-level grill, and started plucking the potatoes off of it. Pretty good, but of course, the meat was where the real meal existed. Too bad I decided to stick to my vegetarian guns today. The woman didn't charge me.
In the evening, the street food craze hit me again as I passed all the Peruvian hamburguesas and frites stalls, but I resisted to have a nice trout dinner. Still, reminisching on the night before, as I returned from the Sacred Valley, I bought a steaming-hot corn and salty cheese meal off a woman on the side of the minibus. It was delicious and filling - the corn here is so plump and chewy that it really is hard to describe. There's nothing quite like it at home.
- Pisco Sour. The national alcoholic drink, which is kind of a cocktail of brandy, lime juice, and egg whites. It's really good, and I'm really surprised it's not as popular internationally.
- Coca Tea. I love it. It has a great taste, is a perfect compliment to the cold weather here.
- Inca Cola. It's a cliche drink, but really popular here. Tastes more like pineapple soda.
Not much to rave about so far. Seem pretty Western by all means. Jello and jello variations seem to be really popular here. I'll keep searching. As for baked desserts, unless you buy it off the street fresh, I've had the misfortune of finding them stale.
What I really would like is simply something that's high in fiber (like Raisin Bran) to aid my digestive tract! All the carbs here are so refined and sugary.