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Friday, May 19, 2023: La Comida y Más

Perú has three distinct regions: coastal, highlands, jungle. There are 3,000 types of potatoes. The color, size, and shape will be different with altitude, soil makeup, and sun.
The story goes that you have to peel the gnarly red potato in the center in one piece before you are allowed to get married. Moms spend a lot of time teaching their daughters. It is no longer practiced.
Rob and I went on a food tour in order to learn about Peruvian foods. I eat whole food plant based but while in vacation I certainly want to taste and try the local foods. We had breakfast, lunch, dinner, a drink and ice cream in 4 hours!!
BREAKFAST: Empanada de ají de gallina at a restaurant called Alanya. This breakfast sandwich was a hit with Rob.
Next for LUNCH, we were escorted to the kitchen of Ayahuasca. They were open just for us. We put on our hair nets. The chef was preparing an appetizer: A skewer of beef heart.
Africans who arrived in Peru introduced the locals to eating organ meats. The flavor of the heart was good, but the texture was much like beef jerky and hard to chew.
The entree was Lomo Saltado and is a very popular dish in Perú. This beef was very tender. Our guide said that rice AND potatoes are often served on the same plate – lots of carbs.
This colorful nonalcoholic drink was called Andean Punch. It was sweet and delicious.
DINNER: We had ceviche at the República del Pisco. Even though this is our dinner stop, it is noontime. This dish is ONLY eaten at noon since it requires fresh fish and is eaten raw.
BAR: The famous drink from Perú is called Pisco Sour. We got a lessen on how to make this powerful drink at Juanito.
DESSERT: Lúcuma is a fruit that is unique to Perú and is used as a flavor for ice cream or yogart. It was delicious. Some say it tastes like hazelnut. Blu was the name of the ice cream store. They were very friendly and allowed us to practice our Spanish.

Spanish Class at Peruwayna  Spanish School

Now it is time to waddle to our next activity.

One of our reasons for coming to Perú was to practice the Spanish language. We both learn at home by using the Duolingo App. I have a very long daily streak of 910 days. I treat it like a crossword puzzle that I do every day. Rob is more invested by working on his Spanish sometimes up to a few hours a day.

We had a free afternoon and after much searching our daughter Amy had found a language school recommendation. Rob made a reservation from 2-6pm.

We were running late. I ran breathlessly into our Spanish class and said in Spanish, “I am here to speak English.” That was funny enough. But the man gave me a strange look. It wasn’t our school. In fact, it wasn’t even a language school!!

We left and finally arrived at the correct place. Since Rob and I are at different levels of our knowledge of the Spanish language, we each had our own tutor.

Debora was my teacher and she was a lot of fun.
This was a review of regular verbs.
I am bad at pronunciation and spelling in Spanish so we did a lot of spelling games. When you say a letter with an accent mark, she said to follow the letter with the words “con tilda”. She also introduced the concept of open vowels (a,e,o) and closed vowels (i,u).
Here are some tips on when to use para and por. In the beginning, the time went slowly and my brain was getting a workout. It was 2:45. I didn’t think that I could last for 4 hours. But after much laughter, the time flew by.
Believe it or not, we were hungry after our class and felt confident ordering Peruvian dishes.
We went to the Pizza Palace and it was packed. One stands in line to buy a ticket followed by standing in line for the pizza.
There is only one type of pizza so there is no ordering. It has pepperoni around the outside and slices of ham on the inside.

The pizza is made on the second floor and sent down by a pizza elevator to the first floor to bake in the ovens. Here is a link:

The slices come with a yellow carbonated drink which we later learned was Inca Cola.
Inca Kola tasted like carbonated Juicy Fruit gum. Some say that it tastes like cream soda. Originally, it was made from chamomile and lemon verbena. In 1999, Coca-Cola bought it, and now it is made differently. When there are protests or even a moment of national pride, everyone in Peru drinks Inca Kola. It is similar to Americans flying the flag.
Here is a mural promoting national pride sponsored by Inca Kola.
This is our city guide Abel posing with these giant loaves of bread.
This is a dessert that only occurs in October (except for this store) in honor of the miracle that this recipe was given to this African slave named Pepa through a dream from God. Due to this back story, I thought that it would taste heavenly … but it didn’t.
And we finished the night off with hot chocolate complete with a chocolate spoon.

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