Archive for September, 2011

Roast Cuy for Your Birthday

Roast Guinea Pig

Roast Guinea Pig

By Walter Coraza Morveli and (translated by David Knowlton)

Emblematic of Peru, roast guinea pig (cuy al horno) is very important and popular in the city of Cuzco.  While it attracts the attention of tourists, its greatest importance is in the lives of ordinary people.  Hardly a birthday happens without cuy being prepared and served. Read the rest of this entry

Eating in the Market

Food Offerings in the San Pedro Market

Food Offerings in the San Pedro Market

By David Knowlton

A quick and inexpensive meal? It sounds like time for fast food. MacDonalds, KFC, and Bembos are found, now, on Cuzco’s main Plaza. For Cuzqueños however they are not cheap, though for tourists they may be given the difference in wages. So, for the people of Cuzco as well as an increasing number of tourists this means a visit to the market.
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A Culinary Revolution in Peru?

Ceviche Mixto

Ceviche Mixto

By David Knowlton

In a recent interview, Fernan Adrià, the famous chef and creator of the great restaurant El Bulli, said he wanted to find out what was that something more that made Peruvian cuisine so unique. He came to Peru to be part of the annual gastronomic festival Mistura, held in Lima, visited the Pachacútec culinary Institute, and traveled to Iquitos and Cuzco as part of filming a documentary. Now back in Catalonia, Adriá received a phone call from food writer Catherine Contreras of Peru´s El Comercio newspaper which asked him if he had found an answer to his question. Read the rest of this entry

Two Notes on a Red and White Line: The Marca Perú

The Marca Peru

The Marca Peru

Peru recently announced the symbol that serves as its mark for purposes of trade and tourism, as well as national identification. Cuzco Eats presents two notes, one from Cuzco and one from the United States, on this important event. Read the rest of this entry

September: Rain, Pestilence, and Planting

Rain Clouds over Cuzco

Rain Clouds over Cuzco

By David Knowlton

Rain falls again in Cuzco. The clouds thicken, softening the intense, highland light, like soil well dug and prepared for seeds to sprout. No longer can people walk the streets without drops moistening their face; they find themselves having to stop and wait for cloudbursts under colonnades and overhangs, or simply enjoy more the inside space, like seeds in the ground preparing to burst from the soil in green.
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Brava: A Refuge with Pasta

Brava, Cuzco

Brava, Cuzco

By David Knowlton

Restaurants abound on Cuzco’s main square and in the blocks nearby, where they compete with offices offering travel services and stores selling jewelry or handicrafts. Somedays it seems the Cathedral and its neighboring baroque church the Company of Jesus, as well as Cuzco’s university San Antonio Abad, seem like interlopers in a field of tourists and services for them. Among the restaurants one finds a wide variety of offerings from fast food to up-scale dining. Though the Plaza is rich with possibilities, one should not ignore what lies just barely off it. Read the rest of this entry

Quinoa Marmalade, A Cuzco Treat

Quinoa Marmalade

Quinoa Marmalade

By Walter Coraza Morveli and Fernando Delgado Aguirre, translated by David Knowlton

Quinoa has become popular around the world. Generally it is used to prepare savory dishes, but sometimes in Cuzco it makes its way into sweets as in this quinoa marmalade that has a story.

The people of Cuzco like jams and marmalades especially on their breads at breakfast–if they are eating creole-style coffee with bread — and at afternoon or evening tea, called “lonche” in Cuzco. While in Cuzco’s restaurants it is common to find strawberry jam, one of the products that Peru promotes internationally, occasionally one finds other preserves such as the indigenous elderberry, called “sauco” in Peru. But in Cuzco´s homes many other combinations of fruit are made. Read the rest of this entry

By David Knowlton

Peruvian Flag in Cuzco

Peruvian Flag in Cuzco

The powerful annual food festival Mistura is in full swing today in Lima.  Begun in 1998 and still sponsored by APEGA, the Peruvian Society for Gastronomy (Sociedad Peruana de Gastronomía), Mistura has been an important instrument for creating the buzz around Peruvian cuisine both inside and outside the country.  In Peru it is widely reported in international media, as food increasingly becomes a spectator sport, and it has drawn this year one of the world’s great chefs, who himself created a food revolution in his country, Ferrán Adrià of Spain, creator of el Bulli. Read the rest of this entry

Fresh Fish in the Garden, The Laguna Azul

Families at the Piscigranja

Families at the Piscigranja

By David Knowlton, Walter Coraza Morveli, and Hebert Edgardo Huamani Jara

Above Cuzco, on the edge of the great Inca complex of Sacsayhuaman, with its massive, zigzagged wall, sits a different complex that draws Cuzqueños young and old.  To an outsider , its adobe walls and tile roof might look old, but this follows modern trends that have spread through Peru like a hurricane from the coast.

Simply, and romantically called Laguna Azul, the “Blue Lagoon”, it shares a name with an old film of teenagers coming of age while stranded on an idyllic pacific atoll, but locals often call it the “piscigranja” or “fish-farm” because its man made pond roils with trout. Read the rest of this entry

La Merienda, Tender Meat and Fading Time

Lomo Saltado

Lomo Saltado

By Hebert Edgardo Huamani Jara and David Knowlton

Cuzco’s popular Plateros Street, which opens off the Plaza de Armas, the main square, had several new restaurants open this season.   One of them, La Merienda (Plateros 335), is a bit of a hidden surprise.  While the others have windows on the street through which you can see the restaurant and get a sense of its ambiance and offerings, from the street La Merienda is a sign over a doorway that opens on a long hall.  But once down the hall, an attractive space appears whose food is worth the mystery. Read the rest of this entry

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