Elephant No. 1: Peru

Elephant No. 1

The idea of this blog was that I would try and find 80 elephants from around the world. Unfortunately Peru turned out to be not a particularly elephant-rich country and these rather nice stone elephants were the only ones I could find, in one of the souvenir stalls by the Salineras (salt mines) near Cusco. Hopefully I’ll have better luck in the summer!

Peruvian Food No. 3

Guinea pig! – tonight we sampled that lovely childhood pet, the guinea pig. All the restaurants around the main square of Cusco serve some variety of guinea pig (cuy in Spanish) but we opted for a roast guinea pig, which they said would serve two. 15 minutes after ordering said roast guinea pig appeared in front of us, cooked whole – you could see its little ears and rather sharp looking teeth. Having had two pet guinea pigs at home myself it was a bizarre experience to tuck in, also because it tasted like nothing I’d ever eaten before. There wasn’t actually an enormous amount of meat on the body, but it had a texture like chicken and a flavour…well…sort of gamey? Hard to compare it to anything else because it was such an unusual flavour. The waiter told us that you could eat everything but I decided to give the brain and cheeks a miss, but Alex tucked into those and said that the cheeks especially were good because they were very tender. So there you have it, roast guinea pig!

Peruvian Food No. 2

Chifa – around 200 years ago lots of Chinese workers moved to Peru, which means there is a very strong established Chinese community in almost every city. As a result, Peru has amazing Chinese food – completely unexpected, but we’ve certainly been taking advantage of it – on most restaurant streets you’re guaranteed to find a little Chifa restaurant. It’s a little strange because the community has been here so long they no longer speak Mandarin, only fluent Spanish, and I’m not sure I’ve come across this combination of cultures before…