In the past year, I’ve seen more and more Peruvian restaurants in Lima adding Ceviche Frito (Fried Ceviche) to their menu. The concept sounds perplexing, but really isn’t. It’s basically battered and fried seafood that is given the same treatment of purple onions and bits of rocoto that are soaked lime juice (basically, leche de tigre) poured over it just like a typical Peruvian ceviche.
While I travel around Peru fairly regularly and have probably eaten a wider range of Peruvian restaurants more than anyone on earth, Mistura was a revelation. Getting around Peru and sampling different restaurants takes time, but Mistura brings some of the better ones from across the different regions to one location. There were chefs, restaurants, and street stalls from Lima, Arequipa, Tarapoto, Trujillo, Tacna, and elsewhere that I had ever heard of. Some vendors served obscure or classic regional dishes, while others saw talented chefs altering Peruvian classics in funky new ways.
The food being served at Lima, Peru’s 3rd annual Mistura Gastronomic Fair is broken up into 15 Eating Sections:
As I sat in a conference listening to Sonia Bahamonde of the cult cebicheria Sonia in Chorrillos speak to a closed room of Latin American reporters, along with her husband Fredy and daughter who is also named Sonia, a sort of hubbub came from outside. Shouts of “Gaston, Gaston” rang out and came closer. Soon Gaston Acurio, Peru’s most famous chef and the organizer of Mistura, walked in the door. He stood to one side of the room, certain not to interrupt one of his culinary idols. He was just catching his breath it seemed.
Yucca sticks, Yucca fries, yuquitas, or whatever you want to call them, are a great bar snack and found often in Peru and throughout Latin America. It’s often an alternative to French fries.
It’s Sunday, and after a night out in Lima, Peru, you’ve found yourself in a cevichería. It’s more, you discover, than a mere place to order ceviche. It’s a cultural institution where lime juice abounds, and the events and misadventures from the previous night are discussed, reenacted and celebrated. Here’s your primer.
On the Pan-American highway, the Pan-Americana, about an hour south of Lima near Cañete, there’s a roadside criollo restaurant, which borders a gas station, called El Piloto. Originally, El Piloto, was intended for truckers, but became so popular that the truckers have been priced out.
Mayta is one of the most promising restaurants to open in Lima (Miraflores) in 2009. The chef, Jaime Pesaque, is quite young but he has a lot of experience (Cordon Bleu, other top restaurants in Lima). Mayta has received nearly 100% positive reviews from the local critics in Lima. I’m sticking with them.
Village Voice Food Writer Robert Sietsema wrote about his visit to the unassuming, newish Coney Island Taste in today’s issue of the Village Voice. The Peruvian Bodega, as he calls it, is all the way out on Coney Island Avenue and has pictures on the windows of burgers and omelets to… Read More →