I’ve never been a big friend of street food; actually, food as such has never really been on my mind – traveling was, and meeting new people, seeing faraway places and falling for mysterious strangers in 3 days. In short, discovering what’s over the horizon …
I never saw any appeal in eating standing up, too, and what’s up with those greasy fingers afterwards?
So, asking me to write about food is like asking a hipster sporting jean shorts, a lumberjack beard, oversized glasses and the same haircut like his girlfriend to write about style.
Especially, when street food in my country basically comes down to fried bratwurst with horseradish sauce, and garlic frisbees (the Google translator!) – deep-fried yeast breads spread with chopped garlic and grated cheese. Not exactly high cuisine, but delicious. Almost as good as breakfast at a mysterious stranger’s place the next morning!
But when in Rome, eat as the Romans do.
And so I do.
And write about it.
About the local ritual of passing one bottle of beer with one glass around a group of drinkers, instead of each drinking his own beer out of his own glass, which takes a bit getting used to.
As does eating food associated with cute animals, like alpaca steaks or the cuy, both the skinny restaurant version and the abundant roadside barbecue version (really still guinea pig, or rather dwarf piglets?).
Still more peculiar are roasted pork skins and grilled cows bellies; side dishes of French fries and cooked rice served together; and water sold in little sealed plastic bags that look like silicone breast pads.
One thing I’ve noticed on my travels is that the closer to the Equator you get, the busier the night life and the more abundant the street food.
Peru is no different.
The country is not just the Inca, llamas and cute indigenous ladies in bowler hats, but also 55 varieties of corn (maíz) in any color (from yellow and purple to white and black), over 3,500 varieties of potatoes (papas) and around 300 varieties of chili peppers (ají).
When hungry, just have a look around to eat – little food carts are on almost every corner. Their meals might not be exactly Woody Harrelson’s choice of a vegetarian diet but they taste far better.
The flies swarming above them can’t all be that wrong, can they?
After a day, spent running around the many archaeological sites of Peru, there’s nothing like sitting down to a nice, hearty meal in a local restaurant.
Here’s a choice of some of the most famous Peruvian delicacies served on the coast, in the mountains and in the jungle.
When you eat, you need to drink. Apart from the famous alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, like
there are fruit juices made of Andean and Amazon fruits, known since the Inca, that you’ve never heard of.