I visited Peru’s capital Lima before heading to Cusco and Machu Picchu. Staying in the happening district of Miraflores, I found myself spending most of my time there exploring the many streets, sights and eateries. Miraflores runs up the coast and on the weekend the locals get out of their apartments to go surfing and make use of the sea view parks. They also have exercise equipment scattered alongside the parks, none of which I utilised as I would have been too distracted people watching, but was great to see so many people out and about.
Lima is known for its food scene and its high quality seafood. It has been my favourite South American foodie destination so far – I found the produce to be so much fresher than any of the other countries I have visited which made my tastebuds happier.
The first and last thing I did in Lima was eat Ceviche. Ceviche is pieces of raw fish that are cured in citrus juice (usually lime) and one of my all time favourite foods. For all the ‘I don’t eat raw fish’ types, it usually doesn’t look or taste like raw fish as the citrus cooks the flesh. I was in cured fish heaven, consuming so much fish that I started feeling like I was going to turn into a mermaid. Ceviche is usually had as a starter or on the side of a main meal. Lima is on the Pacific Ocean, so the seafood is extra fresh and has been my favourite places to have the dish in South America.
Given my love of all things food, I did a cooking class with a Peruvian Chef who had trained and owned restaurants internationally to learn how to make the perfect ceviche; he introduced me to the Miraflores mercado (market) and the Don Cevichero fish shop, which he claimed made the best Ceviche in town. They have a few eateries set up alongside their stand so you can try before you buy and attempt to recreate their seafood dishes at home (yes it’s bit of a ‘fragrant’ spot to enjoy your lunch). I liked the takeaway option myself.
Ceviche is so popular in this country that I even spotted mobile ceviche stands. So like a European hot dog stand where it is assembled in front of you. But instead of a Frankfurt being smeared with mustard and sprinkled with sauerkraut, the fish is cured with the lime juice, onion, chilli and then sprinkled with corn before being served in little trays. A very healthy snack – I am always looking for healthier food choices, especially while travelling so this was very exciting. So it’s completely guilt free and leaves room for one of my other favourite South American foods Tres Leche Cake. Usually made with tres (three) different kinds of milk. The cake is soaked in evaporated milk after being cooked). Well worth a try for anyone with an idulgent sweet tooth.
My inner foodie was completely satisfied after spending time in Lima (and hopefully I can take some tips home with me to recreate the amazing dishes) and was re-energised ready for my next Peruvian adventure in Cusco and Machu Picchu.
Like my Facebook page ‘Belindness’ for some of the other places I visit in-between posts.