CUSCO HEAD OFFICE
ADDRESS: Santa Catalina Ancha # 366 Int. 3-C
PHONE / FAX: ( + 51- 84 ) 240141 | 261818
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GASTRONOMIC TOUR :
AREQUIPA: PERU’S GASTRONOMIC CAPITAL
Food from Arequipa is becoming more and more important to our culture every day. Not because we are just now realizing how delicious it is, but instead it is because, over time, the plates, and our tastes, are becoming more redefined and international. We are rediscovering the techniques and falling in love all over again, as the food becomes more and more part of our cultural identity.
The food in Arequipa is known to be some of the most varied and flavorful of all of the wonderful foods in Peru. They are especially known for the exquisite soups and stews, which are often prepared on wood fires with traditional clay pots. Arequipeños are known to be excellent chefs and also general all around food lovers. They, like most Peruvians, also enjoy a bit of spiciness in their food, hence the abundant usage of aji or rocoto, which is a Peruvian pepper which is just a flavorful as it is spicy. When eating lots of spicy food, it causes them to want to wash it down with a nice tall glass of “chicha” (typical fermented corn beer). Chicha is also frequently used as an ingredient in a number of their soups and stews. Originally, most of the more complicated and flavorful recipes were European, but little by little, more and more of the Peruvian influence showed through and became part of the essential composition. Ingredients like corn, red peppers, rocoto, potatoes, garlic, onion, squash, cheese, milk, cured meat, dried meats were used along with meats like beef, lamb, pork and chicken to make entirely new creations. Some of our famous typical plates are the stuffed pepper, shrimp stew, Soltero of cheese, fried pork with onion and black mint and cheese cauche.
he diverse typical foods of Arequipa can be tried out in any of the many traditional restaurants known as picanterías. Some of these typical restaurants have existed since the late 1800’s. In the past, these places were known for their rustic appearance and for the traditional adobe (stewed pork and onions) that they served. Immediately upon entering, you can feel the heat of the wood burning flames. The walls would be turning slightly black due to the sun and the smoke. You would frequently feel a soft guinea pig running between your feet while you were at your table. These were the most traditional of places, and they were often marked by a red flag outside of the entrance. Though now these old institutions have now evolved into cleaner, more organized restaurants, you can still find some of the old traditions in some of the older, well loved picanterias around town.
Over time, the traditional techniques evolved to more modern ways. From using a wood burning fireplace to using gas or electricity to heat the foods. From the wooden spoon to the electric mixer. From the so called American plate (a plate that combines all of the days’ foods on one plate) to different types of smaller, easier meals to prepare like chicharrones or fried foods. In general the picanterias are turning into regular tourist restaurants. Not all change is bad though. Now, after many years of absorbing influences and techniques from Europe and other parts, a new type of Arequipeñan food is being created. Using local ingredients with these international influences is called Novo-Areqiupeño.
We offer two different ways to experience the wonderful foods of Arequipa.
OPTION 1 is to go on a 3-4 hour excursion, starting out with a trip to one of the few old time picanterías that still exist after so many years. We will even get to tour the kitchen and talk to the chef. We will learn how to make traditional corn beer. Leaving there, we will then go to one of the more modern Picanteria- restaurants to try the famous American plate. At the end of the tour, we will try out some Novo-Areqiupeño at a touristic restaurant in the center of town.
OPTION 2 is really for true lovers of good food and is probably a good idea for people who like to cook in their free time. We will give you the option to share the day with a local chef. You will accompany him or her to the local marketplace to choose out the ingredients yourself. The chef will teach you how to make 2 different traditional plates as you watch and take pictures. He will also give you a brief explanation of the history of the plates as well. At the end of the day, you will also receive a certificate of participation and also a photograph with the chef and the plate.
Note: Minimum 2 persons needed for this tour