One of my favorite things to do when visiting a new Country is taking a cooking class and food tour. What better place than Lima Peru? We actually stayed in Miraflores, a district of Lima, an area with swanky hotels and at least three of the “TOP” restaurants in the world. Our guide for the foodie tour was Jossy, she was actually an expat from Holland but very knowledgeable about Peruvian food. She picked us up from the hotel and our first stop was the market to see where the food we were preparing in the cooking class came from. With Peru’s diversified climates they are able to grow almost anything and they prepare their food fresh daily at home. The above picture is where our Chocolate comes from Cacao fruit on a tree.
Next stop was Barranco for some coffee at an Organic Peruvian coffee shop at a traditional roastery, we bypassed Starbucks right next door. We ate some yummy cinnamon treats while drinking our fresh roasted coffee, what a way to start the day! Jossy, our guide, gave us a lot of information about food preparation, history of the city and she was very knowledgeable.
Next was our cooking class and making of Pisco Sours. We learned that true Pisco Sours are shaken not mixed in a blender to enhance the flavor. Actually, I took a picture of the ceviche the chef put together, because after a few Pisco Sours our ceviche was a little tipsy! We were given recipes to duplicate at home, but it is hard to find the exact and fresh ingredients to make the ceviche.
Our last stop was Gourmet Peruvian lunch amid pre-Incan ruins at la Huaca Pucllana. How many people can say they ate lunch while looking at ruins apparently used it as a ceremonial site in the pre Inca days? This archeological site sits right in the middle of Miraflores and this trendy city continues to build around the archeological site that is being restored. The food the chef prepared at the la Huaca Pucllana restaurant was amazing. We would have loved to go back for dinner, but needed reservations about three months in advance to get in. In the picture above on the top left I believe was beef heart, next shrimp ceviche on top of mashed potato, more ceviche and scallops covered with cheese. Lastly, was the flight of Peruvian sweet desserts. Our guide explained all the foods for us, but I didn’t take notes and can’t remember everything. She gave us recommendations for some other restaurants in the area to try later too.
Leaving Miraflores we ventured on to Machu Picchu, then Cusco. We decided in Cusco to try one of the Peruvians favorite protein dishes “Cuy” or Guinea Pig. We opted to try to Guinea Pig appetizer on the left instead of the whole Guinea Pig looking at you. We still had to pick tiny bones out of the cuy appetizer, while very delicious was a little fatty. Plus, I tried not to associate the appetizer with my pet guinea pig I raised as a kid. Then the bottom picture is a flaming Alpaca appetizer, which to me tastes like deer or beef.
Some helpful hints below when planning a trip to Peru. Book with a travel agent our travel agent, Tiffany, at Roseborough did an excellent job. She booked us through Central Holidays, who took care of getting permits needed & setting up tours.
Some helpful hints below:
- Book early through a travel agent to set up tours and get necessary permits
- Stay just outside of Lima in Miraflores, the hotels in this area are reasonable but a lot nicer than downtown Lima
- Allow extra time when going places for traffic congestion
- If you want to visit the top restaurants in the world make reservations at least three months in advance
- Pay extra for private guide, it is so worth the small amount you pay extra
- Don’t be afraid to try sample foods native to their Country but foreign to ours.
Here is the link for the travel agent we booked through http://roseboroughtravel.com/
Below link for foodie tour and cooking class
Let me know in the comments below of foodie tours that have pleased your palate? I’m always up for amazing foodie adventures. While I’m a novice cook and new foodie, I’m learning new cooking skills in my old age.