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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chicharron

Glutton in Chile: Foreign food edition

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 but we’re having food that is not Chilean. Does that even make sense? Let’s eat.

For the past few weeks, we ate good and bad food in Chile as well as fast food. Today, we’ll be munching on some exported cuisine, just to mix up our palate a bit.

Japanese food in Santiago

My first meal in Chile wasn’t Chilean. It was Japanese, although not very authentic Japanese.

But wait, there’s more!

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…!

asado

#FoodFriday Appreciating asado, the Argentinian barbeque

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 going to Argentina for a hell lot of barbecued meat.

Before I went to Argentina, I thought I knew barbecue. To me, BBQ is a time when friends gather around and put dainty raw meat such as chicken wings, hotdogs and maybe some slices of meat on top of some charcoal.

Only wimps eat BBQ chicken wings.

Only wimps eat BBQ chicken wings.

Then on my second night, the Buenos Aires hotel I stayed at had a BBQ Thursday. Just hand over 70 pesos and you can eat all you want. When I heard of the event, I thought about how many chicken wings I can eat (many many!) and was glad that beef is popular in Argentina. Now I can replenish my iron supply!

But when I saw the barbecue pit and the meat on it, I realized how wrong I was about Argentina’s BBQ. Those were not chicken wings on the grill, those were huge chunks of meat (fatty parts included without apologies), wrist-sized sausages and half chickens.

Oh, I have to explain. Here, carne (meat) refers to beef.

BBQ pit at my Buenos Aires hostel

BBQ pit at my Buenos Aires hostel

Some of the guests from the US requested beef that was bleeding, not realizing that different cuts are used for BBQ. Unfortunately, the guys at the hostel didn’t really cook the meat enough so I was feeling a bit queasy after just a few bites.

Not very appetizing asado at the hostel BBQ

Not very appetizing asado at the hostel BBQ

Later in the supermarket, I saw a huge part of the meat section devoted for barbeque meat. They looked more like large intestines than meat.

Much better asado at restaurants

After the asado at the hostel, I was quick to dismiss Argentinian asado. But one day, I met the best barbecued meat of my life at a restaurant in Iguazu.

The restaurant is called Vaca Verde (Green Cow) and the owner was a really friendly old man who recommended the house’s asado.

Proper parilla in restaurant

Proper parilla in restaurant

The meat that came out looked a bit charred but the taste was marvelous. The slightly burnt skin tasted sour but the meat was sweet. I gobbled down my share quickly but I wanted more. More of this beautiful meat.

I dreamt about this plate of asado once. It was beautiful.

I dreamt about this plate of asado once. It was beautiful.

After the meal, my brain was still hooked on it. I even had a dream where I was served something that tasted exactly the same. Alas, I have not had the dream since then.

Which country serves the best barbeque? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

pescado

#FoodFriday Peruvian seafood soup

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 slurping some soups made of fruits of the sea in Peru.

Some time ago, I talked about Latin America’s ceviche, a dish with raw fish cooked in lime or lemon juice. Today, we’re still eating food from under the sea but it’s cooked using fire.

I love soups and this extends to noodle dishes in soup. There is something very comforting about a food that doesn’t require you to chew too much.

I also like my soups tongue-burningly hot because that’s when I know that I am alive. I’m a bit of a masochist when it comes to soup.

Seafood soups in Peru

Seafood soups in Peru were unlike the Chinese soups that I’m used to. Instead of clear soup, we have a stock that is bright orange. The ingredients always seem to threaten to escape from the bowls which are huge.

Seafood soup of the house in Lima

Chupe de pescado--Fish soup!

Read more:

#FoodFriday I love ceviche!

Where to find cheap food in Aguas Calientes [#FoodFriday]

#FoodFriday Lactose-less milk in Peru

foodfriday ceviche

#FoodFriday I love ceviche!

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 going to going to South and Central America for some raw fish yummies.

It was my mom who introduced me to the wonders of sashimi. A long long time ago, I didn’t realize just how tasty raw fish with a hint of spicy wasabi is. One day, she encouraged me to try out “just one slice” of tuna sashimi. I was hooked!

Since then, I always welcome dishes with raw seafood (even if they taste like rubber) so imagine my joy when I learned about Latin America’s ceviche.

The dish, also spelled as “cebiche”, is raw fish or seafood marinated in citrus juice. The juice “cooks” the fish using some scientific magic. Or About.com can explain better:

In the culinary arts, ceviche is a Latin American recipe for raw fish and seafood marinated in citrus juice, mainly lime and lemon juice. The acid in the citrus juice coagulates the proteins in the fish, effectively cooking it.

Ceviche is served in the morning and until noon in Peru because it’s not good to keep the half-cooked fish until dinner time. However, for tourists, restaurants do serve ceviche for dinner.

Ceviche at Chan Chan, Buenos Aires

My first ceviche experience was in a Peruvian restaurant in Buenos Aires.

Chan Chan was near my hostel and was said to serve cheap food. I ordered the ceviche, despite not knowing what to expect. I imagined a large plate of sashimi slices but it looked like this:

Cebiche from Chan Chan, Buenos Aires

Cebiche from Chan Chan, Buenos Aires

There was a bush of onion on my fish and a piece of tapioca and a small corn. I thought it was going to be all meat. :(

Still, I fell in love with the tangy dish despite my ulcers which were stabbed by the lime juice with each bite.

From then on, I was open to tasting as many ceviches as I could. However, until now, the dish from Chan Chan remained the best tasting and the most filling ceviche that I’ve had.

Ceviche at San Camilo Market, Arequipa, Peru

I’m hesitant about eating ceviche in most places because the combination of raw fish and unsanitary conditions equals disaster.

So I was glad to learn that the couple from GQtrippin did not have problems with the ceviche at San Camilo Market in Arequipa. I made it a point to visit the market and taste the local ceviche.

Ceviche from San Camilo market

Cebiche from Chan Chan, Buenos Aires

The sauce for my ceviche was dyed a slight orange color from what I hope was the tapioca. The dish was nice but it couldn’t compete with my memory of my dish in Buenos Aires.

This other ceviche place in Arequipa

Cebiche

I adore ceviches but I find it frustrating that they never serve a big enough serving to strerch my stomach. Ceviches are served in petite portions with more garnish than the actual fish.

Sometimes the dish is served in fancy wine glasses like this one from a ceviche recommended by one of the teachers in Arequipa.

Four-taste ceviche from Mares, Arequipa

Cebiche from Mares

Cebiche from Mares

As a budget traveller, I do not frequent fancy restaurants much. But when I was studying in Arequipa, Peru, my retired schoolmate Tasha* (not her real name) always had plans to visit nice restaurants. I could have said no but I always went along.

At Mares in Arequipa, they have a dish with four different sauces for ceviche. I quite like the one that tasted of fruit but I do not remember the proper name.

El Salvadorian ceviche

El Salvadorian ceviche

El Salvadorian ceviche

I tried ceviche at a seafood restaurant in San Salvador. There was quite a lot of fish and even a fried banana biscuit to garnish.

I was surprised by the crackers they gave me. The waiter told me that I should eat the fish with the cracker.

The fish was quite OK and I liked the salty taste of the cracker combined with the lime juice. Yum yum.

When I head back to Southeast Asia, I’ll miss ceviche the most. Even if restaurants sell ceviche, I seriously think that the price will be over the roof so I’ll just eat all my share of ceviche here before I head home.

Have you eaten ceviche? Do you like it?

menu at aguas calientes market

Where to find cheap food in Aguas Calientes [#FoodFriday]

Aguas Calientes is the town nearest to Machu Picchu. This is where you will likely stay a night before you visit the site or having a meal before you take the train back to Cusco or Ollantaytambo.

Most of the infrastructure in Aguas Calientes is targeted at tourists. This means jacked up prices.

In Aguas Calientes, I had eaten a 45 soles (S$21) set meal where the rice was as large as the head of my fork and a 67 soles meal (S$30) that was actually pretty tasty.

Of course, not every meal in Aguas Calientes has to exceed 50 soles. I can show you a place where you can have a meal plus a fruit juice for just 10 soles (S$4.50).

Where to find cheap food in Aguas Calientes

Where to find cheap food in Aguas Calientes

This little piggy went to market

Go to Aguas Calientes market for cheap food

Go to Aguas Calientes market for cheap food

On the second floor of the local market (not the “craft market) is where they sell cooked food. At lunch time, a lot of the stalls write their dishes of the day on a whiteboard. Just order off the list and you will have tasty, freshly made food.

Second stall in Aguas Calientes market

Second stall in Aguas Calientes market

The second stall on the left gave me a good vibe so I had both my meals there. The stall is run by a family of women. The first time I went, the elder sister cooked while the second time, the mother cooked.

Bistek frita

Bistek frita

The beef steak meal was lovely but the Milanese chicken (breaded chicken cutlet) wasn’t as good. I love how they have rice along with the meal. I also requested that they only give me tomatos and not greens as the salad.

Milanesa pollo

Milanesa pollo

After your meal, you might want to have a drink. At the market, juices sell for 5 soles. For this price, you get about 2 glass-full of juice. That was enough to stretch my stomach.

Fruit juice stall at Aguas Calientes

Fruit juice stall at Aguas Calientes

I will definitely miss the generous servings of fruit juices in Peru.

Special fruit juice

Special fruit juice

Mixed fruit juice in Aguas Calientes market

Mixed fruit juice in Aguas Calientes market

More about Aguas Calientes:

Who likes Aguas Calientes? I kind of do

Finally, the day I visit Machu Picchu [YQrtw Day 109 Jul 27]

Hot springs at Aguas Calientes [YQrtw Day 108 Jul 26]