Based on my extensive culinary knowledge of South America (i.e. Peru and Argentina), I’d have to say I enjoyed pretty much everything I ate. I’d slap a small child for some ceviche right now, as a matter of fact.
Let’s start from the beginning.
The cola of the Incas, brewed specifically by them hundreds of years ago. No—that’s a joke. Don’t quote that.
It glows in the dark, is the most popular soft drink in Peru, and tastes like cream soda. It is EVERYWHERE, and I requested it whenever the opportunity arose. After all, when in Rome…
Get really high from sugar.
INCA KOLA JELLO!
I can’t help but feel this would have been better with vodka. Inca Kola Jello shots.
CEVICHE! Like sushi for Peruvians, this raw fish/seafood dish is marinated in citrusy juices and sometimes chilli peppers. I don’t know if anyone serves this in St. John’s. Anybody know? You mean there’s no Peruvian population in Newfoundland? Appalling.
I bought a half-case of beer at a supermarket in Lima for less than $5 CDN. It set the theme for the rest of the trip.
Who can forget the PISCO SOURS?! Mandatory at every dinner table in Peru. It’s a pisco brandy drink with lime and lemon, as well as a egg white to top it off. Yes, egg white. Comes with a high probability of drunkness.
I didn’t eat any on this trip, actually. But I have in the past, and I can assure you, they’re delicious once you get past the fact they have eyelashes.
GUINEA PIG! I didn’t eat this one. I had caught the malicious stomach bug that had circulated our tour group, and when that grilled, marinated guinea pig was set down in front of me, my stomach lurched. I had to leave the table. I returned to cut off a tiny piece of meat, but could not deal with the smell. You know that kind of nausea, right?
Everyone else loved it, however…with the exception of Mike, who somehow managed to eat an eyeball. It was caught on film.
At a restaurant named Guerrin in Buenos Aires, I had a religious pizza experience.
We were hungry. We had been flying all day, and I was hungover as hell. I was overwhelmed by the beauty of Argentinean men. And then, ‘lo and behold, waiters brought us the cheesiest, most beautiful pizzas I have ever seen. THERE WAS SO MUCH CHEESE. THE CHEESE WAS RUNNING AWAY FROM THE PIZZA AND OVERFLOWING ONTO THE TABLE.
I got a little emotional.
It was the perfect moment, just perfect. Even if I could go back to Guerrin, I’m not sure I would. I don’t want that memory to become skewed.
MEAT AND MALBEC!
Two things that go hand in hand in Argentina. We went to an asado, an Argentinean grill, where we simply selected the kinds of meat we wanted and the cooks grilled it right in front of us. Of course, since there was a language barrier, the cooks communicated by pointing to their various body parts as a way of asking which part of the animal we wanted to eat. Breast, anyone?
We developed a serious case of the meat sweats.
Pair it with Malbec, a lovely red wine, and you’re practically a full-on Argentinean. You may even be granted the gift of fluent Spanish. I knew I had made it when I could withdraw money from the Spanish ATM.
APPLE TINY AMOUNT!
One of the most bizarre dessert options spied on our menu at the asado in Buenos Aires. Apple tiny amount. The Argentineans allow no word to go wasted.
Thanks, Contiki, for broadening my horizons.