A great Amazonian restaurant is near impossible to create. First off, sourcing ingredients with any regularity in the region is done with hands in prayer. Second, where do you put it? Ideally it would be near the source of those exotic fruits and fish, though the entire region is blanketed… Read More →
If you happen to grab a bite in Peru’s Amazonian region and come across plates of yellowish balls served all around you, don’t panic! It’s nothing out of the ordinary, just one of the most wonderful dishes Peruvian cuisine ever invented. Served in every village, town and city in the jungle, tacacho is part of a strong gastronomic tradition that still remains a secret to the rest of the world. Although Peru has been enjoying a culinary boom for the past few years, its Amazonian region hasn’t gathered much international attention. However, it’s a solid gastronomic identity simply craving to be discovered.
Demerara. That word alone is infectious. It’s derived from the Arawak language, meaning “river of the letter wood.” It sounds exotic. It is exotic. Demerara is a place, among other things related to that place. It’s a region of Guyana founded by the Dutch. There’s a river, also called Demerara. There are fields of sugarcane lined with canals where herons and egrets wade. The air is sweet smelling. It smells of forests. And the Caribbean, which is not far away.
The uncontacted tribes of the Amazon basin are a reality that many regional governments would prefer not to be true. The existence of these highly susceptible indigenous groups – found in the most remote reaches of Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia, and Venezuela – prevents the miners, loggers, and oil from removing the valuable resources that are becoming increasingly easier to extract. While they are protected under international law, the enforcement of those laws is loose at best, shifting with every change in government. Some governments go as far to say that because they are unseen, that the tribes are fictional creations by environmentalists that want to hamper the development of rainforests. Proving that the tribes, who voluntarily choose to be in isolation, do exist without threatening them even more so than they already are is a complicated tasks, as the book The Unconquered: In Search of the Amazon’s Last Uncontacted Tribes by Scott Wallace attests.
Growing to almost 500 pounds, paiche is one of the largest freshwater fish in the world. The Amazonian fish is now appearing on restaurant menus worldwide, which could help save the species.
This oxbow lake sits 7 km northeast of Pucallpa and is the main tourist drag in the area. In Puerto Callao, Yarinacocha’s main port, there are lots of bars and restaurants line the waterfront. If looking for peace and quiet, stay somewhere on the lake. Internet is available at Restaurant… Read More →
A UNESCO world biosphere reserve and world heritage site. 20,000 square kms, 1,881,000 hectares. For much of the park, however, access is limited to a few Indian tribes that choose to remain isolated with nearly no outside contact. Only a few researchers are given permission to enter the park. As… Read More →
The Amazon Rainforest is one of Mother Nature’s greatest works of art. The river itself is ever changing its course. New islands are forming all the time with new forests, new inhabitants. The river will eventually will swallow them whole and even newer ones will arise. Sixty-five million years ago… Read More →
Vater Otto might be the epicenter of the least Peruvian seeming city in Peru. The patrons at the one room, wood cabin looking pub on a corner of Oxapampa’s Tyrolean seeming main plaza appear Peruvian at first glance, but they’re friendlier. The bartender remembered me from the night before and greeted me by shaking my hand. A few bar stools were on the sidewalk beside an open window and passerby’s would lean in and say hello to a group of regulars in a corner near the bar. A few had blue eyes and blond hair and they spoke with a funny twang. They sang German drinking songs and clanked their glasses together. When one leaves they tell me goodnight. Another asks me where I’m from and that I should have come and chatted with them. They were cheerful and laid back, while the people in rest of Peru, in comparison, can seem so intense and formal.