Hands down, Peru is the best place I've been to so far in South America for amazing food. Argentina had delicious grilled meat, this is true, and flavorful chimichurri sauce (which is a delicious marinade for meat made with parsley, peppers, garlic, oil, and vinegar). Here in Peru, no matter what small cafe or restaurant I walk into, I want to try everything. Ice cream, seafood, sandwiches, chocolates, fruit drinks, and much more this is a food lover's city. Lima is known as the Gastronomical Capital of the Americas. The perfect place for me to be to sample excellent South American cuisine!
Today I went to lunch with a coworker. He took me to a seafood place and recommend I try a Peruvian traditional dish, ceviche. I have had ceviche before, but what I was served was an entirely new experience. The fish used was sole (flounder). It was chopped in thick pieces and marinated in a rich and tangy, sweet and salty lemon juice that was so flavorful I would of drank it off my plate if only it didn't look funny. The lemons have such a unique flavor it was like eating a new fruit for the first time. Thinly sliced red onions topped the fish and Peruvian corn and sweet potato were served on the side. We also shared a traditional drink, chicha moda. It was a wonderful, deep purple drink made from purple corn of all things. The corn is boiled in water often with cinnamon, pineapple rinds, and cloves. Once cooled, lemon juice and sugar are added making this one of the most delicious and refreshing drinks!
After work, a couple of us strolled along the circuito de playos, or the beach cliffs in Lima that overlook the Pacific Ocean. Palm trees and lush vegetation surround cement walkways and paths for people to enjoy the fresh sea air. Trails lead down to the beach and surfers are carrying their boards on their way to catch some of the ocean waves. Kids play on toys and ride bikes on dirt bike courses as parents watch and also play. It is a wonderful place to stroll and people watch. We then headed to the famous cliff mall, Larcomar. It is an open air mall filled with trendy shops selling clothing and crafts, restaurants, and a movie theater overlooking the ocean. We stopped for ice cream and enjoyed a walk around. It was all quite lovely.
Below are some pictures from the day...
Above. Chicha moda, traditional Peruvian drink
Above. Surfers as seen from afar from our cliff walk
Above. A view of the shoreline from the cliff walk
Above. Walking the cliff walk at sunset
Above. The open air shopping mall on a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Larcomar