In Limbo


FriendsPasteles

I got up today and went and got a massage for my tired limbs. Less than 20 bucks. They cost like 70 or 80 bucks in the states. I am trying to decide today where to go next. Either La Paz, or the jungle near Cuzco–Manu, Puerto Maldonado–or back to Lima and then to Iquitos. We’ll see. I’m going to give myself a few days to put my finger in the air and test which way the wind is blowing. I’m a bit tired of the Qosqo scene, the constant stranger on the street’s “amigo” this, “amigo” that, but I do know that I would miss what I do have here. I’m going to take some more private classes for Español, except this time it is the much more reasonable 10 soles per hour instead of 8 dollars like it was last time, and the lady will come to my hostal for my lessons. I went into some “shaman” shop today to find out about imbibing ayahuasca, but they quoted me 60 bucks for a ceremony. I know that for locals it’s something like less than 10 soles, so I peaced out on that one. I guess I’ll have to do without hallucinogenic substances for this journey.
This afternoon I met up with Danitza and Julie and they took me out to Saylla where we were going to visit Tipon, but it began dumping rain, so we ducked into a chicharronería instead, where they serve chicharròn de cerdo, a dish very typical of Cusco. Chicharròn de cerdo is basically fried pork, but as is always with the meat dishes here, the taste is different than in the states (almost always better, truth be told). One thing about Peruvìan food that is interesting is that a lot of their dishes are without any kind of sauce, except for dishes like Ajì de Gallìna or Papa a la Huancaìna. This always kinds of disconcerts me, because I’m definitely a sauce kind of man, I like to have something to dip my greasy food items into, I like to hold a bottle of something in my hand and splatter it all over my food as I am eating. I guess it makes me feel like I’ve got my own personal input into my food. I love hot sauce, let it be known, I put that shit all over all of my food. I feel like I’m making it better, enhancing the food. This is why I hold a special place in my heart for burritos, because after every bite you are given the chance to dunk into it some more hot sauce and salsa. Here I can’t really enjoy that kind of eating experience often. They have a kind of sauce made from ajì, Peruvian chiles, but it really isn’t that spicy, and the sauce is generally kind of weird tasting and detracts from the food rather than adding to it, although I still of course continue to dunk each papa frita into it as a matter of course.
I also tried some pasteles tonight after we returned. I tried conito (a cone shaped pastry with chocolate filling), lengua de suegra (which means “tongue of mother-in-law”, so called I think not because of it’s sweetness but because of it’s length), alfajo (like a giant cookie with sweetness in the middle), and a pye de manzana (apple pie). I have to say I’m not so impressed with these pasteles. Seth, you could kick all of these pastries’ asses with your hands tied behind your back. They’re for the most part just kind of flaky things that get your hands and pants all messy. Tomorrow wait for the update on the tortas, I’ll get my hands on a few different cakes and give them a test run.
Anteayer with Danitza and the Uruguaynos, Nacho and Mary, I tried a few new fruits, as well as enjoyed some more granadillas. We tried tumbos, which are these little football shaped fruits that contain tons of orange colored seeds that you suckle upon and taste kind of like mandarinas. We couldn’t find any more chirimoyas, since it is not their season, but we found something similar, albeit much larger, called Guanabana, which unlike its much tastier counterpart was chewy and kind of weird tasting, although it was kind of interesting. Yo probè un Pomelo, cual es igual de “grapefruit,” yo pienso. Also a Pepino, which is a kind of melon except lacking in any kind of flavor. Capulis were pretty good, they looked like cherries but didn’t have that kind of sharp cherry taste. Today I also tried ciruelos, which are like little miniature plums, which of course I liked because I love me my plums, yo.

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Author: manderson

I live in NYC.

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