Northwestern South America

Yeaaah Monday!

Who’s excited??


Bueller? Bueller?

Okay, honestly me neither.

But let’s forget about Monday and think about happier things like traveling and food. Or the combination of the two.

Central America was dandy, but now we head south. South to South America where it’s currently summer and everything opposite what I’m experiencing outside these days. Perhaps by channeling some of that South American flava, we here north of the equator can warm up from the inside out.

Let’s try anyway.

Much like I did with Africa, I think of taking a very broad regional approach to the continent. Who really knows though? Once I get in the thick of it, it’s likely the conviction of previous statement will have flagged. Either way, the food will be amazing.

My culinary Inca trail, however, will not be without interruption. Because this Sunday is Valentine’s Day (aka my half-birthday), there will obviously be chocolate. Also, next week is Fat Tuesday, so there will be Polish donuts, aka paczkis (I’ve never made donuts! This could be amazing…or a disaster). And then of course Mama Buddha’s birthday, which must be commemorated, and then St. Patrick’s Day. Lots of landmark moments that call for perhaps not-South American food. But, all reasons to celebrate and eat.

The first South American region of note is the northwest, which for my purposes encompasses Venezuela, Peru, Colombia and Ecuador.

For a quick overview, even in this northwestern region, there seems to be a lot of variation in cuisine. While the north-central countries, Venezuela and Colombia in particular, boast a heavy European, namely Spanish, influence, those a hair to the south such as Peru take full advantage of the local ingredients, and have found some amazingly delicious ways both to cultivate and to prepare the corn, lima beans, potatoes, sweet potatoes, peppers, and avocados grown there. Having had some of the cuisine of these parts myself, I’m excited to see what I can cook up on my own.


Lomo Saltado (Beef stir-fry)

Arepa con Banano (Banana stuffed corn cakes)

Pisco tilapia

Brevas con Arequipe (Figs with Dulce de Leche)


Mote Pata (Pork, Hominy and Peanut Soup)


Sounds good to him



In other unrelated news, I’ve been cleaning out my freezer food and discovered some of mom’s cabbage rolls. Score! If you haven’t made them yet you should because they are absolutely perfect for the season.

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