Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Peru: Cusco Street Eats

Something from our dinner at Kusikuy didn't sit well with AG's tummy.  He woke up the next morning feeling very, very sick.  Being the good friends that we are, we dumped him at Starbucks with a bottle of pepto bismol.

What?  It was our last day in Peru and we had a food festival to check out:


















From what we could piece together based on snippets we overheard from other tourists' conversations, it seemed to be some kind of national holiday.  No clue what holiday it was, but look ma, food tents!

Our first stop was the chicha tent:


















We thought about sharing two drinks between the three of us, but then we realized we shouldn't kid ourselves.  One each it was.  We got the passionfruit, the strawberry, and the quinoa chichas:


















A lot watered down and not nearly as tasty as the chicha we had in Aguas Calientes, but still refreshing on a sunny day.

Our attention was snagged by the chicharron lady:


















An order of chicharron cost S/.10 (around $3).  It came with thin slices of potatoes and some kind of bean:


















We moved aside all the shrubbery to get to this beauty:


















With our savory taste buds satisfied, we moved on to dessert.  This stall was particularly popular:


















These fried dough rings drizzled with sugar syrup were exactly like what we had in Arequipa:


















The doughnuts we had in Arequipa were called bunelos, while these were called picarones.  According to Wiki, the difference is that picarones are made from sweet potatoes and squash while bunuelos are made from yeast dough flavored with anise.  From experience, I can tell you that both are delicious.  Especially when an order of four only costs S/.3 or $1.

Our dessert quest continued next door to this stand:


















We got a slice of tres leches cake:


















And a slice of lime cheesecake:


















Neither were particularly good.  The texture of the cheesecake was too gummy to be enjoyable.

To wash out the taste of disappointment, we headed to San Pedro Market one last time to see our dear friend, Alejandrina the juice lady.

While we were sipping away at our juices, AG sent us an SOS via text.  He'd left Starbucks because he was feeling cold.  He tried to lay on a bench in the plaza, but was asked by a police officer to sit up.

Feeling sorry for the guy, we rushed toward the plaza.  Only to stop partway when my sister spotted this chicharron lady on the side of the street:























We'd seen these chicharron ladies multiple times during our stay in Cusco, but my sister had been hesitant to buy street meat and risk possible stomach issues.  Since we were leaving Peru that night, she figured, what the heck.  YOLO.

Thank goodness we stopped because that pork was SO DAMN GOOD:


















It was so delicious that we finished our bag and had to stop at another chicharron lady closer to the plaza where AG was so piteously waiting.

Sorry, AG.  I know you were suffering, but dat fried pork tho.  Especially the fatty pieces.  Hot damn.

We eventually made it to AG.  We ended up letting him rest at a hostel close to our AirBnb apartment until it was time to catch our cab to the airport.  By the time we flew into Lima, AG was thankfully feeling better.  So much better that when my sister and CK nearly followed two strangers out of the airport just to try to figure out where they got their Papa John's pizza, he was totally onboard with the idea of pizza for dinner.

Thanks to my sister's Internet sleuthing skills, we ultimately tracked the pizza to the upstairs food court.  You might judge us for having pizza as our last meal (especially Papa John's) in Peru, but I have no regrets.

And so ended my grand Peruvian adventure.

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