Posted 10 February, 2016

Jungle Fodder - Food Fantasies from the Peruvian Amazon

Jungle Fodder - Food Fantasies from the Peruvian Amazon

Are you known to be an adventurous eater? If so, the Peruvian Amazon will provide fodder for your stomach - and imagination. While fish, fruit and fowl form the staples of an Amazonian diet, exotic additions in the form of protein-enriched grubs like Suri or grilled giant snails, are not to be missed.

Fresh water fish is one of the mainstays of the Amazonian diet. The most popular of these is Paiche, a large fish with smooth, white flesh. Paiche ceviche is quite simply exquisite and a delicacy in most Amazonian restaurants. On the streets of Iquitos and other towns, you cannot walk more than a few steps before finding someone simmering a patarashca on an open grill. Usually made from a fish called gamitana, a patarashca involves wrapping the fish in a banana leaf and allowing it to grill in its own fat.

Juane, named for the head of St. John the Baptist, because it is traditionally eaten during the feast of St. John the Baptist (and not because it’s his head on a plate). An earthy concoction of mashed rice or cassava along with meat, egg and olives, seasoned with spices, it is then wrapped like a parcel in Macaw Flower leaves, and boiled for an hour and a half of slow cooking. Widely eaten throughout the Amazon, Juane is a popular local favourite.

If you’re looking for dessert, pick up one of the exotic fruit that grow in these jungles. The orange avocado like Aguaje with a vitamin A content so high that it can turn your skin yellow if you eat too much of it, is commonly eaten with a pinch of salt. Camu Camu is like a grape on steroids – packed to the brim with vitamin C, while the locals believe that the Brazilian Acai’s Peruvian cousin, ungurahui, gives you “jaguar strength and monkey smarts”.

It’s not just the jungles of the Amazon that come to life at night. For an authentic Amazonian gastronomic experience, one must stay up after dusk and imbibe in a cocktail… or two… or ten, of the local brews at the bars in Iquitos.

The Amazon is known for its exotic mixtures of herbs touted to have stupendous aphrodisiacal qualities, with macerated sugarcane alcohol – with equally wild names, such as “Seven Times without Stopping”. If you’re looking for a little bite to take off the edge of the alcohol, try some grilled Suri, a fat, buttery termite like grub, a couple of giant jungle snails grilled to a crisp golden brown, or even alligator chicharron, crispy fried on a bed of plantains.

Is that beast called your stomach already growling? Call us to today to chart your gastronomical trajectory through the jungles of Peru.

Posted 06 January, 2016

The Tuber Trail - A Journey into Peru’s Quechua Potato Culture

The Tuber Trail  - A Journey into Peru’s Quechua Potato Culture

The next time you eat mashed potato, pause.
You may just be consuming “Ashes of a Soul” that have been beaten to pulp (and chances are, its not yours!).

Did that French fry give you indigestion?
It could be that the gods are upset that you consumed a “Sacred Mountain”.

Feeling a little bloated?
A “Guinea Pig Fetus” may just be resting within your belly.

No – this is not witchdoctor speak. These are in fact various indigenous varieties of the humble potato, which are native to Peru.

Posted 10 January, 2016

Chicha Street[sm]art

Chicha Street[sm]art

When Elliott Tupac’s work of Chicha Street Art ‘Antes Sonoba’ (I used to dream) was painted over by Lima city officials, the global arts community woke up.

Posted 23 September, 2015

En Famille with Enigma

En Famille with Enigma

In our opinion, few experiences can exceed the joy of traveling with one’s family. Undertake a new adventure, discover a new land and create an indelible bond between each one of you – and what better place than in Peru?

Posted 23 September, 2015

Lake Titicaca: A Journey to the Birthplace of the Sun

Lake Titicaca: A Journey to the Birthplace of the Sun

Titicaca is a place shrouded in mysticism. Even the origins of its name are somewhat obscure. According to Andean folklore, it’s the birthplace of the sun and it certainly seems believable when you are standing beneath its brilliant blue sky on the shores of the world’s highest navigable lake, as it stretches infinitely between Peru and Bolivia.

Posted 28 November, 2015

People to People: Peru from a point of view

People to People: Peru from a point of view

“Im not your guide. I am an artist.”
Mariu is an artist –through and through – and her first love is Peruvian art. Mariu paints – expressively, intensely, and more often than not, a distinct thread of writing runs through her work.

We bring you two far-flung perspectives from Peru - one from a home-grown artist who has become internationally famous, while the other is from an Australian expat who has found her home and her soul in Cusco. Each have a unique and fascinating take on what it means to be Peruvian from a local point of view.