We were so tired tonight we decided just to dine at our hotel. It was billed as an Italian restaurant, but it definitely had a Peruvian twist. I ordered an appetizer, Trio de Causas, three types of potatoes with scallops and huacaina sauce, octopus with olive oil mayonnaise and shrimp with pesto sauce. Upon arrival....... SURPRISE!!!! It was cold! I was certainly expecting hot, based on the description. Who eats cold mashed potatoes? Apparently Peruvians.
After our meal, the chef came to our table and asked if we spoke Spanish, French, English or Italian so he could discuss our meal. How embarrassing that we only speak English. He explained that he studied in Italy (among other places) and tries to combine his Peruvian heritage with Italian dishes. Peruvians eat mashed potatoes cold as an appetizer, rather than as a hot side dish as we do in the US. This appetizer was his concoction of Peruvian and Italian. I found it very interesting and different. Larry’s minestrone soup also had a Peruvian twist by having tender, tasty pork and his gnocchi entree was topped with the huacaina sauce which is a traditional Peruvian cheese sauce with a very mild chili.
We discovered more uses for lucuma today, as we had been advised to do. We lunched at a large busy deli and bakery that also served gelato. I could actually read most of the menu from my knowledge of Portuguese menus. I tried the lucuma gelato and another traveller had one of the fabulous pastries, a piramide de lucuma con chocolate (right). I didn’t try it, but he said it was delicious. I liked the gelato, but it wasn’t as flavorful as yesterday’s pudding.
We head to Cuzco tomorrow morning. More dining adventures lie ahead.