FoodFriday: The teas of Peru

Welcome to YQtravelling’s FoodFriday. The day of the week when I show off some of the lovely eats I had while travelling.

Today we’re having a cuppa in Peru.

Teas of Peru

From top to left: Anis (Anise), anise, herba luisa (lemon verbena), te puro (black tea), manzanilla (chamomile)

While in Arequipa, Peru, I studied Spanish at a language school for two weeks. I stumbled upon EDEAQ through Google. It’s a great place to learn Spanish since they have 1-on-1 lessons that are much cheaper than the group lessons I had in Buenos Aires.

At EDEAQ, there is one tea break between the morning classes. After the tea break, you switch to another teacher.

During the tea break, I discovered that Peruvians drink a lot more types of tea than other places I’ve been to. (Even in China, I don’t think they bring out such choices of tea.)

These tea taste weird for my palate. I feel that anise should only belong in cooking but they drink it in Peru (and probably other places around the world!) Hierba luisa reminds me of lemongrass while manzanilla tastes like regular chamomile.

coca tea from peru

There was another very exciting tea that I had in Peru. That is coca tea (mate de coca). This tea is very useful for altitude sickness and motion sickness (not that it helped when I was on the bus to Nasca since I threw up as soon as the liquid hit my stomach.)

What makes this tea exciting is that it is made from coca leaves which is the same ingredient used in making cocaine. But this does not mean that every traveller sipping from coca tea bags are on drugs.

From Wikipedia entry of coca tea:

A cup of coca tea prepared from one gram of coca leaves (the typical contents of a tea bag) contains approximately 4.2 mg of organic coca alkaloid. (In comparison, a line of cocaine contains between 20 and 30 milligrams.)

What is the weirdest tea that you have tried?

Bottle of Inca Kola

FoodFriday: Inca Kola in Peru

Welcome to YQtravelling’s FoodFriday. The day of the week when I show off some of the lovely eats I had while travelling.

Today’s feature is not food but a mysterious drink from Peru. Let’s check it out.

I have a soft spot for soft drinks despite knowing how bad they are for my health. I try to avoid them as much as I can but I occasionally reward myself with a cold can of Coca-Cola.

Of course all diet rules are out while travelling so I tried Peru’s famous soft drink Inca Kola. I usually order this drink to accompany my meals in local restaurants.

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FoodFriday: Soup a la minuta in Peru

Welcome to YQtravelling’s FoodFriday. The day of the week when I show off some of the lovely eats I had while travelling.

Today we’re having “sopa a la minuta” which translates to “soup in minutes” (I think).

I love soups a lot. (OK, probably not as much as Jodi who is a “soup expert“.) I prefer scalding hot soups to cold soups as I love how the hot liquid reminds me that I’m alive and slurping soup.

While in Peru, I had the chance to have soups. I featured seafood soups a few months ago.

Most of the soups I had were “sopa a la minuta” which I think means soup that is so easy to make, it only takes minutes.

Sopa a la minuta feels like Chinese ABC soup but with noodles. It just confuses me as the normal “soups” I have do not have noodle in them or else they would be called noodle soup.

This dish is usually found as part of a tourist set menu, sort of an appetizer before your main dish.

Check out the different sopa a la minuta I had:

Not quite sure where I had this sopa a la minuta.

Not quite sure where I had this sopa a la minuta.

Sopa a la minuta served at a rustic roast chicken shop.

Sopa a la minuta served at a rustic roast chicken shop.

Sopa a la minuta from a tourist restaurant. There is more pasta than soup. Sheesh.

Sopa a la minuta from a tourist restaurant. There is more pasta than soup. Sheesh.

A hearty sopa a la minuta in Nasca.

A hearty sopa a la minuta in Nasca.

Sopa a la minuta from a tourist restaurant in Cusco.

Sopa a la minuta from a tourist restaurant in Cusco.

Now all together:

sopa a la minuta in peru

Have you tried sopa a la minuta? Did you like it?

Find more food in Peru:

san camilo market

Glutton in Peru: I ate at San Camilo market and didn’t get food poisoning

Welcome to YQtravelling’s FoodFriday. The day of the week when I show off some of the lovely eats I had while travelling.

Today’s meal is at San Camilo market in Arequipa, Peru.

After arriving in Arequipa, I started searching online for good cheap food. From GQ Trippin, I found out about San Camilo market. It seemed like the most amazing place for affordable and yummy food.

I expressed my interest in the market to my Spanish teacher to ask his opinion as a local. He discouraged me from going because I might get food poisoning.

Next, I told fellow student/ posh Russian-American Tasha (not her real name) about the market and she turned her nose at it, adding that the “food there is rough” (aka not refined enough for her palate).

What is a poor glutton to do? Visit the market on my own of course.

I was slightly worried about food poisoning but I was very sure that my stomach of steel would mean no problem. Plus, I was armed with knowledge from the famous Jodi. Quoting from the post: Eating Cheap Good Food Abroad

Everyone tells you to eat at the stalls with the longest line of locals, but an important addition to that is to opt for the stalls with women and children in line, too. More variety in the customer base usually means the stall has been vetted enough that it’s safe for everyone. Yes, it’s still better to choose a long lineup of men over crickets and an empty stall, but given the choice, women and children in line is where you want to go.

The market was easy to find after I had the directions from my teacher. The cobbled streets of Arequipa were not kind to my shoes since I kept slipping on it.

In the market, I walked past several ceviche stalls several times because I was too shy to sit down at any of them. Finally, I saw the stall that looked like where GQ Trippin ate and luckily a family just left their side of the table. I sat down and smiled at the ladies working at the stall.

Using my still-limited Spanish, I asked for ceviche and something I had no idea what it was. Now, I think it might have been fish soup because it’s a soup and it has fish inside.

Chupe de pescado at San Camilo market

Fish in my fish soup

Next was the ceviche. Ever since eating ceviche in Buenos Aires, I had been dreaming of this raw fish dish. But since Arequipa wasn’t even near the sea, I hesitate eating it. Still, my gluttony overcame my good sense.

Ceviche from San Camilo market

They definitely used a different fish at the market compared to my delicious meal in Buenos Aires.

Close up of ceviche

I wasn’t satisfied with the tiny bits of fish which were dwarfed by the large sweet potato. Of course I should have known that carbs are more important than decadent protein.

After the stomach-bursting meal of soup and sweet potato, I still walked around the market. I stopped by one of the drinks stall and ordered a “surtido con leche” (which is a mix of unknown fruits).

The vendor poured one large glass for me. When I finished my glass, she poured another glass from the same batch. Turns out there are two servings with that price.

My very large glass of juice

By the time I sucked the last bit of juice, my stomach was stretched to its limit. I waddled back to the hostel, planning my next meal at the market. (Unfortunately, I never did get to go back and eat, although I had another juice.)

I did not get food poisoning like my teacher thought I would. If the locals are eating it, it’s probably safe enough to eat it too.

Related posts:

alpaca crepe

Glutton in Peru: Alpaca meat

Welcome to YQtravelling’s FoodFriday. The day of the week when I show off some of the lovely eats I had while travelling.

Today we’re feasting on fluffy alpacas. I promise they look less cute in meat form.

Have you seen alpacas? You’ve probably seen their photos since I featured many of them on my Facebook Page.  They are so cute and fuzzy wuzzy but kind of stinky. [While you’re there, please “Like” my Page. Mucho gracias.]

While in Peru, I had the chance to eat some alpacas.

Hey, I don’t see you complaining when you eat mutton so don’t complain about me eating something this adorable:

"I'm so cute. How could you eat me?!"

“I’m so cute. How could you eat me?!”

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glutton in chile fast food

Glutton in Chile: Chilean fast food

Welcome to YQtravelling’s FoodFriday. The day of the week when I show off some of the lovely eats I had while travelling.

Today we’re still in Chile and we’re checking out fast food.

Last week I showed some of the highlights of food in Chile that I ate. In the next few editions of FoodFriday, I’ll bring you different sorts of Chilean food–the fast ones.

I try to avoid international fast food chains when I travel because they probably taste the same as back home. While in Chile, I avoided international fast food chains and visited local ones instead.

Check out the rest of the post…!

glutton in chile

Glutton in Chile: The best of Chile

Welcome to YQtravelling’s FoodFriday. The day of the week when I show off some of the lovely eats I had while travelling.

Today we’re still in South America and we’ll take a look at the yummy things in Chile.

I spent a short time in Chile. In fact, I made the decision to go to Chile less than 24 hours before the flight. Initially I had planned to visit Ecuador but there were flight complications so I ended up buying a US$400 ticket to Chile.

The only reason why I was in Chile was to hang around for sometime before heading to Peru where I would be spending a month with a 30-day visa.

Check out the rest of the post…!

glutton in uruguay

Glutton in Uruguay’s Colonia del Sacramento

Welcome to YQtravelling’s FoodFriday. The day of the week when I show off some of the lovely eats I had while travelling.

Today we are going to the little town of Colonia del Sacramento for just a bite and a drink.

In the past two weeks, I revisited the main meals and snacks of Argentina. Today’s post won’t be long because I was in Uruguay for only a day. The trip to Colonia del Sacramento was a visa run for me and also a chance to add another stamp in my passport.
Check out the rest of the post…!

argentinian sweets

Glutton in Argentina: Snacks and desserts

Welcome to YQtravelling’s FoodFriday. The day of the week when I show off some of the lovely eats I had while travelling.

Today, we are still in Argentina and we’re looking at tasty snacks and desserts.

[Updated on Nov 17 with Dulce de leche. Scroll down to see more!]

Last week, I brought you to Argentina for some meaty main dishes. Today, we’re treating our salty and sweet tooth to some snacks and desserts.

Empanada

First up on the list is a savory snack. Previously I had a whole post focused on empanadas. These South American version of curry puffs are much more satisfying because they are mostly filled with chunks of meat. MEAT!
Check out the rest of the post…!

glutton in argentina main meals

Glutton in Argentina: Main meals

Welcome to YQtravelling’s FoodFriday. The day of the week when I show off some of the lovely eats I had while travelling.

We’re heading to Argentina today for some main meals.

Since I was in Argentina for about 3 weeks, I had too much food to stuff into one post. So I decided to split my Glutton in Argentina post into two: main meals + snacks and desserts.

Argentine steak

Tasty beef is probably the first thing people think of when you mention Argentinian dishes. While I had been busy cooking my own steak in the hostel, I went to a few restaurants to splurge a bit.

Check out the rest of the post…!