Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Peruvian Nostalgia

Julie and I went to dinner at the El Rocoto Peruvian Restaurant for the first time since two weeks before our Peruvian Trip in late April. Going there brought back memories because it was not only the occasion where Julie got food poisoning from bad ceviche at that restaurant, but during our time spent in Northern Peru going from Tarapoto to Pomacochas, I had to endure food poisoning with similar symptoms of vomiting, nonstop diarrhea, and nausea.

And indeed, as Julie and I chatted over dinner, we were remembering the nicknames our guides gave to each other (e.g. BubĂș for our driver Asho), the mountainous roads with frequent landslides, the long driving, the brutal hiking to Catarata de Yumbilla, Catarata de Chinata, and Catarata Gocta (the whole purpose of the Northern Peru portion of the trip), and the authentic Peruvian food we tried to get while we were in the country.

As we dined over tallarin saltado de mariscos and lomo saltado, we thought about the humble but deliciously good home-cooked meals at Cocachimba, a local joint in Rioja that ended up being the only place we encountered that had the familiar green sauce you get at El Pollo Inka Restaurants with roasted chicken (which I couldn't eat because I had food poisoning), Pez de Rey (kingfish) at Pomacochas (again, which I couldn't eat because of my food poisoning), and even trying some overpriced cuy (guinea pig) in Cusco. I guess you can't get much more authentically Peruvian than cuy, which I'm sure no chain Peruvian Restaurant in Los Angeles would even touch.

Indeed, Julie and I were amused at how such a simple act of eating at a local joint brought back such memories of our time in Peru. Here's hoping we can experience more of that in the near future despite the economic conditions we're all facing (or about to face)... [read more]

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