Let’s get started, shall we?

Since I decided to start this blog, the same question was running in my head. What do I want to write about for my first post? Daunting question.

At first I thought of reviewing the place we checked out last week-end (more on that later) or our week-end at the Connaught (more on that later too) but it didn’t feel quite right. It felt a bit abrupt. Then it just dawned on me, let’s just start from a place that really impacted me food wise. Obviously, that was my 3 month trip to South America. So this first article will not be about one place in particular but rather a quick tour of my favourite food memories in South America. let’s start there, shall we?

About a year ago I decided to leave my job and Paris to travel through Brazil, Bolivia and Peru with my backpack. This might be the best decision I have ever made. I have hiked mountains and volcanoes at altitudes I never thought I’d reach, I visited marvellous cities, I tanned on breathtaking beaches, I made lifetime friends but above all, I ate delicious food.

I had a very tight budget so I couldn’t afford to spend too much money on food. It was most of the time very simple but (almost) always very good.

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Rubacão (Rice, cowpeas and cheese) at Cafe do Alto in Rio. It doesn’t look good but I can assure you it was!
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Little sandwich in the streets of La Paz, Bolivia

One of my favourite thing to do when arriving in a new city is checking out the local farmers markets and the ones in South America didn’t let me down. Cooking in hostels was not always easy but I managed some decent dishes with out of this world vegetables.

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I was dying for this avocado stall in Sucre, Bolivia
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Fruit market in Parnaiba, Brazil

Throughout this trip I also learned something important about the way I was experiencing food. Some dishes I ate, would never have been memorable, at all, if eaten at in any other moment in time. I vividly remember an omelette I ate on Isla del Sol in Bolivia (maybe my favourite place in Bolivia by the way).  If I had been back in Paris, in my tiny flat, eating that same omelette, I think I might have found it blend but because I was on that Island, with that amazing view, all by myself, I will never forget that omelette.

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This might be the most memorable omelette of my life

But some other times the food was really unbelievable. I ate at Gaston Acurio’s twice. Once at Chicha in Arequipa and once at Gaston y Astrid in Lima and I was blown away both times. At Chicha, the more casual line of his restaurants, I had the Alpaca curry. I’m not a vegetarian but I usually don’t eat meat. This time I decided to be adventurous and it was deliciously unexpected with its apples, strawberries and kumquat.

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Alpaca curry at Chicha in Arequipa, Peru

At Gaston y Astrid, I had the fish. For some strange reason I can’t remember the name of the fish or the name of the dish. I only remember how it tasted like. Always a good sign.

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The fish dish I can’t remember the name at Astrid y Gaston

I could go on and on about other places I ate at during my trip (oh hello, vegetarian heaven I went to every day in Cusco). This is just a very small snapshot but it was important to me to start with this. Don’t hesitate to comment/email me if you want more informations or other recommendations!

N.

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