¡Hola! Rosmerta here.
I’m abroad, again. This time in Lima, Peru. And luckily, I’m living less than 10km from the site of the largest food festival in Latin America, which happened September 6-15.
Due to money and time constraints, I was only able to go one day. But that day was magical.
The best foods and drinks from all over Peru, all in one big fairground. It was divided into mundos (worlds): Northern Peruvian, Southern Peruvian, food from Lima, Amazonian, Andean, chocolate world, coffee world, etc…
I went with two friends and met up with another friend there. We did as advised by our program director: split up to get in line for different dishes, then share everything.
We started with sandwich world.
M’s steak and cheese sandwich with a spicy sauce
my falafel. one of the best I’ve ever had!
We took a break for some pisco sours blended with fresh fruit juice (everyone makes their own fresh juice here, it’s amazing!). D got passion fruit, M got grape, and I got tumbo – an Amazonian fruit similar to passion fruit. Really tasty!
They had a tumbo cut open in front of the drinks to show what it was — it looks like this!
Then we moved on to the “Gran Mercado” (great market) and stuffed ourselves with free samples of everything from ice cream to coffee to manjar (the Peruvian version of dulce de leche) to coca and stevia leaves to chifles (plantain chips) to ají (Peruvian pepper sauce).
Next stop: coffee world. I tried dung coffee, which was okay, but M’s Peruvian coffee was better.
organic high-altitude coffee “naturally processed” by a Coati… a.k.a. eaten and excreted
In Southern World, we had to try queso helado — it translates literally to cheese ice cream, or frozen cheese, and we were intrigued. But it is actually an ice cream made from coconut milk and contains no cheese. It was pretty good, but incredibly sweet. They top it with cinnamon and sometimes with strawberries or other fruit.
After walking off (or sleeping off, for some) a bit of the fullness, we ended up in Amazonian World, where I had a mouthwateringly delectable dish:
Paiche con casho y hongos, acompañado de arroz con coco. (Paiche with cashew and mushrooms, accompanied by coconut rice.)
This dish consisted of pieces of paiche, a huge Amazonian fish, flavored with a cashew fruit sauce, with onions, peppers, sachaculantro (an herb similar to cilantro), and toasted cashews, along with coconut rice (rice with coconut milk, coconut oil, toasted coconut and green onions). It comes from a restaurant called ámaZ, which luckily happens to be near my home, so I’ll definitely be going there!
We also tried some juanes (top left) and yuca empanadas (top right) from Amazonian World.
Finally, we stopped into Chocolate World, a must.
It was incredible. And many, many free samples of chocolate. I ended up using my last several tickets (Mistura functions on a ticket system, each ticket equivalent to a number of soles, the national currency of Peru) to buy a bar of chocolate that I had sampled. It’s so good!
I’m so glad I’m in the home of cacao and coffee beans. I visited the ChocoMuseo awhile ago to learn about chocolate – its origins, its process, etc. – and was thrilled to learn that Peru produces a large portion of the world’s cacao! That explains why the chocolate is so good here…
I’m also slightly obsessed with La Iberica chocolate – another Peruvian brand.
Highly recommended if you ever come across it.
So, although I skipped the cuy (guinea pig), roasted alpaca, ceviche, and some other Peruvian delicacies, I’m quite satisfied with my Mistura experience. I only wish I could go back. There were lots of talks and demonstrations that I also missed out on, unfortunately. The festival is held annually, so I’ll definitely try to plan any future visits to Peru so as to coincide with Mistura dates. Someone find me floo powder, please?
Love from Lima, and buen provecho!