Sunday, November 6, 2011


To celebrate our two year friend-iversary, Becca and I booked a trip to Peru and Bolivia.  I was looking forward to eating ceviche, sampling some cuy, eating lots of quinoa and drinking coca tea.  Due to travel planning, we actually didn't have any time for Lima, which supposedly is a growing culinary hot spot.  In an exciting twist of events (and another blog post to follow), we were able to stay in Lima for about a day and a half, due to airplane delays.

Let's start with airplane food.  My favorite discussion.  I ordered my beloved cheese tray for the flight to Houston, and I will say it had a better selection of cheeses than a similar tray found on Delta.  Per usual, I didn't get a menu this flight on what food I was going to get, I suppose only Asian airlines do that.  But, I did get a tasty-ish lasagne dish with a brownie.  No, I didn't eat the "salad".

And just before touching down in Lima, we got this "sandwich".  It was so dry I probably could have started a fire on Machu Picchu with it.  But, I devoured the kit kat bar in seconds!

In Cusco, our hotel prepared us a nice breakfast every morning.  OMG, tropical fruit! And fresh orange juice! Note, if you order coffee, you will need to pour hot water into it to dilute it.  Becca and I did not realize this and thus drank some rather thick, unappetizing, black coffee.  

{What could be more amazing than fresh, tropical fruit?}

Coca leaf tea - very similar to green tea, and it is supposed to combat any altitude sickness.  I was still panting while hiking up even a flight of stairs, so I am not sure how much this helped.

I of course made my way to a store to get an ice cream bar. A Peruvian ice cream bar no less.  Princessa ice cream bar! No really, it was called Princessa.

One of the many amazing things about South America is that you can find fresh juice ANYWHERE! We stopped in at one of the many Yujuu chains in Cusco and ordered Carambola and chirimoya juice as well as lucama y mango juice.

{Look at all the fresh fruit!}

And in Lima, we found another juice place with an extensive menu.  It was kind of like Jamba Juice but with REAL FRESH fruit!

I ordered guanaba juice - it tasted very similar to a more acidic pear juice - very good.

{Also note the hearts on the lid}

In Peru, people eat alpaca, llama and guinea pig.  Trust me, I sampled all of them (scroll all the way down for the cuy)!

{Alpaca in a red wine sauce}

In America, there is mac and cheese.  In Peru, there is quinoa and cheese.

While Hom Nom is primarily designed to cater to human food consumption, I saw this display of pet food, and naturally thought of my beloved furry nephew Cooper.  He would have loved this! Actually, Cooper is spoiled and probably now gets hand ground organic grass fed lamb sausages from his doting Grandmother, so I don't think he would touch this dry kibble stuff.

Becca found a fantastic coffee shop in Cusco, Cafe Ayulla.  I don't think the pictures do it justice.  Just look at that ooooozing and incredibly addicting dulce de leche.  Oh and that shortbread was just about the most perfect I've ever had!

My friend Anoop suggested that we also try out Toldos Chicken in Cusco, we had walked by our first night and it smelled delicious, so away we went!

{Look at this lovely piece of roasted chicken.  Seriously? How could 
anyone turn it down?}

Departing Cusco, on our way to begin the Inca Trail, we got some breakfast along the way.  More delicious fresh fruit and some granola with yogurt.  This type of granola was different from what you would find in the US - it was a little puffy and had coconut mixed into it.  Still delicious, when served with some strawberry yogurt.  We had a chance to meet the rest of our hiking group during breakfast, they were from all over the world, some traveling for only the week, and others had been traveling for nearly 7 months!

For our four day hike, I wasn't expecting much by way of food.  But oh wow how Peru Treks did exceed expectations! We essentially had warm gourmet meals and snacks throughout the day.  Not once did I think, "ugh, I am hungry".  Breakfast was usually oatmeal or quinoa style oatmeal with fruit.  Lunch and dinner ranged from more than enough meat and some kind of grain.  So good!


Snacks - the cheese was actually gross, but the "popcorn" was delicious.  I couldn't stop stuffing it in my face.

On our last night, the chefs even prepared a CAKE for us! With frosting!

After completing the trail we headed to Lake Titicaca.  And, we found fondue.  It was delicious! And a good kick off to the 2011-2012 Fondue Season here at Hom Nom.

Cover your eyes if you loved your class pet from first grade.  COVER THEM NOW.  This preparation of cuy (guinea pig) wasn't all that tasty, almost like a less gamier version of dark meat bird (quail, turkey, etc), but I will soon post about our cuy dining adventures at Astrid y Gaston - and that one was delicious! 

Me want pizza! And here is my beloved pepperoni pizza! Huh? Where are the pepperonis? Oh, they were diced up like bacon.  

Even more pizza! This one was not bad as well - obviously not quite on par with Iggy's or Firehouse here in NYC, but not bad for being about 5,000 miles away! The Peruvian interpretation of Hawaiian pizza was spot on :)

And, time to bid farewell to Peru.  At the airport, the international terminal in Lima only had super over priced Western food options.  So we of course went for paninis and sushi. 

{Panko encrusted sushi!}

The flight back was long, particularly because we had a 15 hour delay which was even longer once we got into the airport.  The chicken and dumpling thing was actually really tasty! The dessert in the left corner, not so much.

And, upon completing my return trip, I learned that I am only 291 miles short of earning (the next level up) Premier Executive status.  Yes, agony.  Luckily, I am planning on flying home for Thanksgiving, or else I would have had to do a mileage run to Boston or DC! I am also brainstorming of how I can prepare quinoa stuffing for Thanksgiving. 


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Trupa said...

The fresh juice looks like bubble tea. You know I'm sold!