Monday, April 10, 2017

Fun with Food

People ask us what we eat, so . . . 

Miqui, SOUP, Quechua noun;
     Miqui, EAT, Quechua verb.  

The most fundamental food the indigenous highlands of the Andes is a juicy vegetable soup based on potatoes. Together with herbal teas,  usually made from fresh local plants, such as the perennial mint, muña, provides liquid as well as nourishment. The soups are varied, with quinoa or pearled barley or crushed corn, usually thickened with squash known as sapaillo, sometimes containing freeze-dried potatoes known as chuño. The soup is always the first course, but often a secundo follows the soup. 

Enhanced by varied sources of ingredients which come from the Amazonian jungle, the oases in the coastal desert and the high altitude plains, Peru has become known for its creative cuisine. The traditions and creativity have spread throughout the country. This year we took pictures of especially yummy foods and attractive presentations. 
Market in Lima reveals the abundance.

On special occasions, such as with well-paying tourist guests, dinner is served on the fish-shaped platters. Ruperta is an excellent cook and this trout was poached in a mixture of ginger, onion and red bell peppers. Note the plate of coca leaves for the after-dinner tea on the upper left.
potatoes, trout, with rice in a fish-shaped platter 
Ruperta was always happy when Sam bought checking to bring home. Note the muña for after-dinner herbal tea in the upper right of the photo.
Chicken stew with rice, soup
fried trout and potatoes with beets, green beans, sweet potato
City treat is to take a group out for dinner at the broasted chicken restaurant. We can host eight to 10 people for the price of the two of us at a moderate restaurant in the U.S.
Yaquelin enjoys her first restaurant meal: Pollo a la Braza

In Spain and Peru (in contrast to Mexico), a tortilla is an egg scrambled with onion and tomatoes or other vegetables:
Soup, egg tortilla, beet salad & french fries.
One day I travelled to Puno alone on the early boat and went out for a treat of a meal by myself: Ceviche served with camote sweet potatoes and toasted corn.
Ceviche in a restaurant in Puno
Celbia's sheep broke his foot, so we ate it. 
Delfin and Clever butcher the sheep.
The result was a meal of roasted mutton with camote (sweet potatoes, new potatoes and rice, with rocoto (fresh salsa) on the side.
Thanks, sheep, for giving your life for our nutrition
Sometimes food is too yummy to take the picture before it is half eaten. These baby new potatoes with a beet salad was one of these times.
 beet/carrot/onion/lime juice salad
In Lima, food is more summery, salads instead of soup.
Lentils with sea fish served with avocado salad
Stuffed Avocado--chicken salad
For really special occasions on Taquile, I mix up some banana cake and bake it in the solar cooker. This was Eufrasia's birthday, Feliz Cumpleaño! Definitely not Andean traditional, but becoming a Tara and Sam tradition.
birthday banana/chocolate cake in the solar cooker  

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