… but food came to me!

Touring the beach of southern Chiclayo, I wanted to avoid food… but food came to me. It came to me in Monsefu, we were to finish the tour with a visit to the local artesanal fair. But here is what I found…


That kind of cheered me up, made me hungry and I bought more than I was able to eat!



Circuito de playas, I wanted to avoid food…

As I was feeling tired, I decided to be a normal tourist for 4 hours and jumped in a “hop-on hop-off” tour… And what is more touristy than a “playa”? Nothing. That’s why I chose the “circuito de playas”. 

Bagua grande, because you deserve it…

It is a kind of adventure to go to Gran Bagua…

First, forget about the 12 transport companies your Lonely planet propose you because they are safe and clean.
Second, look at all the the companies you have never heard of, and ask if they go to bagua grande… Half of them will say: bagua? si vamos!!…. than you realise they go to bagua but not bagua grande!
Third: After double checking those going to bagua GRANDE, ask for the departure time tomorrow… usually it will be either today or in 2 days…
Fourth: There is no company going to Bagua Grande in this terminal on the date you need… hang around, desperate, wondering how to adapt your plans, watch again all the company names, ask those which obviously don’t go to bagua grande (they look too safe and clean), just in case…. go to the SSHH (servicios higienicos) and on your way back to the terminal hall, you may find in a corner THE ultimate company going to BG at your date!

Thanks Fernandez Hermanos!

This is the image in my head that made me stick to this plan to go to Bagua Grande...

This is the image in my head that made me stick to this plan to go to Bagua Grande…

Anyway, I was not really well organised I must say… because finding a bus 1 day before the departure during Peruvian “fiestas patrias” is a challenge! I mean finding a bus that makes sense…

I don’t know why, but the transport companies like to organise the departure of 6hours journeys at 9pm or 9pm30… To me, this doesn’t make any sense, because it actually means you arrive in an unknown city at 3pm or 3pm30 without a chance to find a place to sleep… Or if people are not sleeping in this hotel, I am not sure you want to go…

And this also leaves you without a chance to sleep even an hour in your night, because of course it is a bumpy “road” in the middle of the mountain so it is really hard to sleep!

Fortunately, upon arrival i waited only 15 minutes to find a moto taxi to go to “calle colon” (which appears on NO map)…. And Leyda received at 5am at her house… I slept on the couch, and I am so grateful for these 2hours sleep before the workers builing the 2nd floor arrived and strated their day is a nice 100dB CUMBIIIIA!

Here is Leyda:

Leyda with coco

Leyda with coco

Chiclayo, for and because ceviche

Chiclayo isn’t the nicest city you could stay for 4 days… But I wanted to go there because the food from the North is really great, with a lot of raw fish, tortillas of seashells, grilled fish, fish in soups, … As ceviche is my favorite paruvian food, I wanted to taste all kinds of ceviches in Chiclayo… but this is not really what happened… because of a macquerel ceviche!
I stayed 4 days and ate very few and learned only 2 dishes. I was sick. I had to cancel one cooking class in a village near chiclayo, the famous festival of duck and even a wedding!
Instead of these great things, I will give you some pictures of the city and of the only plate I tried in a restaurant, La Causa Ferreñafena!

Wwoofing, I am ready!

I am on my way to get to my first wwoofing experience… And this will be near the city of Bagua Grance, 28.000 inhabitants. This place is mentionned in lonely planet only once, as a city in between Chiclayo (costa) and Chachapoyas (selva alta). The guide book basically recommends absolutely nothig in this area…

But well, I think a picture from my window this morning can give an idea of the type of landscape you can admire…

Forest with tropical fruits and trees, indredible skys and an easy-going life…

View from my window this morning in Bagua Grande, Amazonas

Typical fruits of Peru

In Peru, you’ll find many types of fruits… with its very diverse geography, the Peru has fruits on the coast, others in the tropical forest in the mountain and again deifferent ones in the Amazone rainforest.

On the markets, as a European, you’ll find as many fruits you know as fruits you have never heard about… Here is a little guide to identify the main fruits you can find in Peru:

fruits of Peru

These fruits are very common and can be found on nearly all markets in the mountain and on the coast.

imageGranadilla – a variety of of passion fruit

People make juice out of Granadilla, ice creams and toppings for cheesecakes. The taste is different from the passion fruit found in Europe.
Membrillo – Quince – Coing (Fr)

It is used in recipes of mazamora, where is a cooked for a long time over low heat. It give a nice taste to the thickeness texture where it has macerated. It is cooked in a similar way in Europe for quince maremalade or “gelée de coing”. In any cases, it can’t be eaten raw.
Maracuya – another variety of passion fruit

The use made out of Maracuya is basically the same as granadilla. If the outlook is not dark as in Europe and definitely larger than what we are used to, it is very juicy and tasteful.


imageTuna – Prickly pear – Figue de Barbarie (Fr)

It is used for making juices or just eaten directly as a dessert.

Pepino – Sweet cucumber – Poire-melon (Fr)

The pepino can be defined by a mix of the English and French name: it has the shape of a cucumber (certain variety, unlike the picture) and it truly has a taste of melon. It is very fresh and juicy which makes it perfect to eat directly. Native from the Andes, it was already used by the Pre-incas civilization Mochica. Several ceramics from 1st to 6th century have a shape of pepino.
Lucuma – no translation

Lucuma is native from Peru and it is the emblem fruit of the country. Most peruvian will love desserts based on Lucuma: ice cream, milk shake, tarts, cakes, … its texture goes very well with milk so it is nearly always combined with milk which makes it creamy. It can also be eaten raw.

Which other fruit would you like to learn about?

2 days in a Quechua familly in Vicos

I entered a program to live for 2 days in a Quechua familly, share daily life and exchange with them.

I met Manuel, Antolina and Pablo. They made my experience in their house a great moment and i loved being part of their traditionnal way of leaving.

They live in a rural area called Vicos, near Huaraz, surrouded by mountains and fields… the great summit Huascaran dominates this peaceful scenery.

They share their life between 3 activities:

Together we made bread, we cooked and we walked in the mountain to find graze for the sheeps. I became (nearly) an expert at catapult to keep the sheep when they go too far and Antolina showed me lots of vegetarian recipes. They are not vegetarian but meat is expensive and they keep it to sell at the market or for big occasion.

We cooked these dishes:

Made out of their fields’ products:

I recommand this experience to everybody… you can use the help of ecotourism agencies such as Respons or try to make friends with a familly around the valley of cordillera negra… but this will definitely be a more rough style.


King Kong from the North

King Kong, the typical dessert from Trujillo, Chiclayo and Lambayeque on the northern coast of Peru.

King Kong de la "Dulceria Virgen de la puerta"

King Kong de la “Dulceria Virgen de la puerta”

Made of layers of biscuits and “manjar blanco” and/or pinneapple marmelade, King kong is a very popular dessert.

I have tried it, the biscuits were very crunchy and the pineapple layer was interesting… But all in all, it is very very sweet like most desserts in Peru.

Travel Update 2 – From la Sierra to la Costa

I am travelling Peru to discover Peruvian cooking specialties and innovations. I meet people in different places to find recipes to write a peruvian cooking book.

So where did I go since my last update on 19th July?Who did I meet? What food did I try? What recipes did I get?

Where did I go since my last update on Sunday 19th July?

Huaraz / Vicos / Trujillo / Moche / Chiclayo / Monsefu


Who did I meet?

Antolina in her Garden in Vicos

Antolina in her Garden in Vicos

In Vicos, I stayed in a familly in the countryside for 2 days. I met Manuel y Antolina, a wonderful couple a quechuas living from their animals and agriculture… Antolina is a great cook so I lernt a lot from her! Their last child of 7 siblings, Pablo, is very interesting in knowing which great empire we had in France, just like the Incas…

Before heading to Trujillo I met Nora in Trivio Café, she was a French volunteer for a year in Trujillo to teach French at the University… She told me the best would be stay stay at Casa de Clara, and it was true! I organized with Clara a diner with her university’s alumni!

In trujillo I found I would have nothing to do… but actually it happened I had a lot to do! I met Jhonny from Couschsurfing, a young Peruvian fascinated by the power of youtube and internet to spread videos… and at the same time, I met Paul, an ecotourism entrepreneur who started his alternative restaurant and tours… He brought me to unexpected places like the Campesiña of Moche, close to the famous archeological sites of “Huaca del sol y de la luna”.

Isabel and her friend in Monsefu, in front of her tailor shop

Through the help of Leo, a cheerful American Peace corp., I met Isabel, his “host mum” during his 2 years volunteer program. She received me in her house, in the same building as her tailor shop and the showed me how to cook her best dish, aguadito de pescado…

I went to the incredible museum of Tumbas Reales de Sipan… I was sick and fainted in the museum…fortunately, a French girl, Virginie, rescued me. She is travelling all south America thought different volunteering opportunities… Together with her friend Angélique, she worked in a mushroom production farm and warnned me against soya industry in Peru… She writtes a very nice blog in French, relating her experience in South America under the form of tales for children, involving 3 cute puppets… see her last article about the “Mariposario“.

What recipes did I get?

Aguadito de Pescado - from Isabel in Monsefu

Aguadito de Pescado – from Isabel in Monsefu

– Mazamora de Quinoa y Manzana – Antolina -Vicos
– Pan de maiz y de trigo – Antolina – Vicos
– Papa quasqi (version 2) – Antolina – Vicos
– Picante de papa y Occa – Antolina – Vicos
– Sopa teologa – Maria Gutierrez – Moche
– Yuca rellena – Clara – Trujillo
– Keke de pasas y vanilla – Yeraldin – Trujillo
– Taqueños de salchicha with palta sauce – Yeraldin – Trujillo
– Batido salud – Benjamin – Trujillo
– Aguadito de pescado – Monsefú

Any recommendation for new recipes? other places to go? Please let me know!


Favorite peruvian dish

I talked about the dishes people from Lima like best… and you what is your favorite peruvian dish?

English speaker other than French and Peruvian