Lima - Friends & Food
08 September 2012 | Peru
We arrived in Lima on Sept 6th and stayed in the Miraflores district of the 7 to 12 million populated city. (census isnt accurate) Fortunatley we had two friendly contacts, whom we met in Ecuador. They treated us to a wonderful lunch at one of Gaston Acurios creations. (Famous Peruvian chef that has put Peru on the gastronomic map) This would be the first introduction into Limas famed cuisine. Dany and Alberto gave us great insight into where to go and what to expect while traveling Peru. Thank you very much! Danys brother, Rhony and together with his wife Ilse, were wonderful hosts during our entire stay in Lima. We cant thank them enough. They showed us art galleries, the famous South American Food Fair Mistura, Limas famous plazas, the BEST restaurants in the city and even took us to a Peruvian traditional dance show at a Pena. Wow... it was quite an introduction to Peru!
Lima is one of the driest places on earth, a massive city surrounded by desert and surf. (Amazing surf!) When we flew in it reminded us of Egypt... Yes, its that dry! There are cosmopolitan areas mixed with poverty and it is all ethnically diverse. Politically Peru has its complexities and her past troubles are in the minds of its inhabitants. The economy has boomed in the last 5-6 years, not unlike many of the other prominent Central & South American countries. Spanish influence is clear in the architecture but does not dominate the various indinginous cultures prevailent throughout the city. Traditional Andean colors are vibrant throughout the city, shops adorn Alpaca & Vicuna scarves, sweaters and textiles expressing complex patterns of indigenous life.
FOOD - Deserving of its own paragraph! First of all - We happened upon a time when the largest South American food festival was taking place. Paradise! Hundreds of booths with Andean foods beautifully presented under a large open air tent which replicated an indian home. Music of the Andes in the back ground while you sample cheeses, olives, sausage, view hundreds of different potatoes, gourmet potatoe chips, Olive Oils, Quinoa (10 different varieties), many corn, fruits that I cannot pronounce, sauces made from more plants that I cannot pronounce... Then we hit the restaurant section. 200 of the top Peruvian chefs selling samples of their dishes.... THEN... (at about 10pm) we hit the dessert tent. Chocolate, Chocolate, Chocolate. Peru has perfectly flavored cocoa and they are not afraid to meld strange spices within it! I could go on but I think I will quit the food section here... as there is more to come about food in Cusco!
Really - We are thankful for the time we spent with our new friends in Lima. You were so gracious to take the time to share with us these special places and tastes of Lima. Thank you!