Cruda Comida in Peru (raw food in Peru)

[ 0 ] November 1, 2010 |

Cruising San Pedro Market, Cuzco, Peru

I must say that I’m not sure why I was called here to Cuzco, but these days when my intuition says something, I listen and follow as best I can.

I mean originally I was coming to Cuzco anyhow so that I can help out my friend Matt Samuelson with raw food for a retreat of Americans coming to Peru over Thanksgiving.

The retreat is David Wolfe’s Adventures. I’ve only met David once and that was very briefly at the longevity conference in September/October of this year.

We’ve got 30 people coming from all over the states. I’m psyched.

The Raw Crew for David Wolfe’s Adventures in Peru

First off, I get to hang with Matt who is a good friend of mine from raw food school. He was one of our instructors and we hit it off right away.

This guy has a palate like no one else I know and can create extraordinary raw food at a moment’s notice. So that will be fun.

It’s also fun for me to gain experience since I’ll be leading my own Raw Trips next year and holding weekend retreats all over the US.

So I actually chose my hostel (Apu-Wasi on the way up to Sacsayhuaman ruins) because it has a big kitchen in which to spend some time.

To my dismay and hearts delight, there’s a Peruvian guy here who is a chef also and so we play in the kitchen together on a regular basis. It is so fun to have someone to bounce ideas off of, that knows what he’s talking about, and gets completely into the balancing of flavors and such.

My hostel girlfriends enjoying some raw wraps

I’m proud to say that everyone who works here has tasted my green drink at least once and a couple of the gals I think are actually looking forward to it in the mornings. That may be too positive, but one can hope…

I know the ladies here at the hostel do like eating my creations therefore they’ll stick around and help.

Too bad I didn’t get a picture of Oscar and I doing it up in the kitchen. We can whip up some great meals and he loves talking — in Spanish, of course — about flavor balancing and ingredients and such.

Ah, a foodie is foodie no matter what language they speak :)

The market here in Cuzco is stocked full of fresh fruits and vegetables. I can only hope that they are as natural as I’d like them to be.

Plantains or Potatoes?

I’ve been told that the nearby valleys grow a lot of organic goods, so I’ve chosen to trust the “mamitas” at the market when they say “por supuesto” — “but of course it’s all natural”.

It’s pretty damn amazing that you can live at 11,000 feet and still get really nice produce.

The fruits are fabulous and it was nice to reconnect with some of my Ecuadorian favorites like grenadillas and lovely succulent mangoes… Man I love them! Like mother’s milk, so sweet and filling!

Talking about sweet and filling, just outside the market you’ll find some lovely ladies with wheelbarrows full of grilled plantains and comote, a sweet potato which they cook in the ground or dirt.

Quail Eggs for Lunch?

Or if quail eggs are more your style, they’ve got those too.

The live bird is right underneath doing her usual work as the lady snatches the eggs from her and cooks them up right on the spot.

She serves them with a chili sauce (aji sauce). Yes, I admit I had to try just one — it felt like murder and my stomach didn’t appreciate it nor did my heart.

I also was super surprised to see CHEESE at the market. Not just cow cheese but actual raw goat cheese.

My addiction is here!! CHEESE!

A little on the salty side but that’s how they like it here.

Oh, and another surprise I actually found algae here. It doesn’t look like nori or hijiki, but big blocks of seaweed which I’m assuming come from the coast. I’ll have to buy a block to experiment!!

Boy this is going to be fun. I’ve got Vilcabamba, Ecuador all dialed in for my raw trip there, and now I get to explore the culinary streets of Cuzco.

I hear that this place has it going on. I’ve seen a handful of vegetarian restaurants so far which is a good sign, and it seems the hundreds of other restaurants all have at least a couple of vegetarian or vegan options.

I see spice on the menu and lots of civiche — mountain lake trout civiche. I’ll have to give that a try as well!

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Category: Blog, Conscious Living, Travel & Adventure

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