I love visiting markets to get a sense, a hold of the pulse of a community and its diversity. When I visited Surquillo market near my house, out of convenience on a Saturday afternoon, I found it conveniently stocked with all sorts of fruits and fresh produce from different parts of Peru, a good part of which cannot be found outside of the country.
(Credits: Ed Stocker)
More backpacker tales: my South American adventures led me across the Peruvian border to Bolivia, where C and I sought out Gustu, tucked in the high altiplano of La Paz. We arrived in La Paz, giddy with altitude sickness, running on a tight schedule to explore La Paz; We made it to Gustu on a quiet weekday afternoon, a building with simple gray aesthetics, tucked in the residential district of Calacoto.
Pisco is the renowned , celebrated brandy in Peru. I remember it as smooth, slightly smoky, and fragrant with the zing of young grapes. That Chile also lays claims to Peruvians’ beloved national drink as well, adds a political dimension that for the political scientist in me, is irresistible. But what I love about Pisco is how complex an aroma it carries. All at the same time, it manages to be mellow, light, and fragrant.
To those familiar with the cuisine found in the South East Asian jungle, Amazonian cuisine may, or may not come as a surprise. It comprises similar preparation methods and ingredients, including grilled bananas, meats and seafoods. I had just come back from Tarapoto, a city in the San Martin region, and had sampled popular dishes such as tacacho, and patarascha, which involved the grilling of meats and seafoods on heliconia leaves.