Puerto Maldonado, Peru: Dinner in the Amazon

by gigi on December 13, 2009

Jenkins and my first dinner on the Amazonian leg of our trip came after our boat ride to look for alligators that lived near our eco-lodge. After such an exciting experience, we were definitely hungry and ready to eat something tasty! You’ll notice that must of my pictures are quite dim as there were hardly any lights in our dining area. Bright places attracted bugs at night so we found that most of the places in our lodge that did have lighting had very low light.

Our dinners always started with soup and on our first night, we had a type of lentil soup. The soup was very flavourful although it was a bit salty for my taste. I really enjoyed the ground Brazil nuts in this soup though as it gave it a nice extra flavour.

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Jenkins had a curried chicken with almonds on rice. The curry was very mild but the addition of nuts was different and gave the curry an extra dimension. The rice was prepared in a similar fashion to steamed jasmine rice and went very well with the curry.

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I had a popular Chifa dish called Lomo Saltado, which is basically beef with peppers, tomatoes, and onions. The Lomo Saltado was a bit watery but the combination of the beef with veggies was tasty and very similar to a Chinese-style dish with basically the same ingredients.

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Dessert was poached custard apples, an Amazonian fruit, with dark chocolate sauce. The apples tasted like a cross between an apple and a pear and almost had a creamy texture to it. I would have actually preferred the poached apples on its own as the chocolate was a bit overwhelming for the apple’s delicate flavour.

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We discovered that brochettes are pretty popular in Peru. I had a grilled beef brochette with sides of green beans and fried potatoes. The beef came with a roasted pepper-like sauce which I really enjoyed but I found the beef cubes themselves to be a bit overcooked.

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On our last evening, I had some pasta with a beef, tomato, and black bean sauce. The pasta was actually cooked al dente and the black beans in the sauce added something different to the dish.

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Jenkins had rice with a creamy chicken, leek, and mushroom sauce. The dish actually was quite light despite the fact that it looked quite heavy.

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For dessert, we had a rice pudding-like dish with raisins. I’m not a huge rice pudding fan so this was not one of my favourites.

Both Jenkins and I really enjoyed our first crack at trying Peruvian food. We’re not sure if all the dishes were authentic Peruvian dishes as the staff liked to joke around with us and make up names for some of the dishes. For the most part though, everything was quite tasty although I think dessert was not one of the lodge’s fortes.

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