A long time ago now, in October 2009, Jenkins and I went to Peru. I’ve been a bit delinquent on posting about our trip so here’s my attempt to kick-start that process again. If you’d like to catch up on my trip reviews thus far, here are my posts about the Amazon portion of our trip:
After we left the Amazon, Jenkins and I flew by plane to Cusco, where we were to stay for 4 days before proceeding to Machu Picchu via the Inca Trail. Cusco is the ancient capital of the Incas so there is a lot of history there. For our first lunch after arriving, we decided to eat at a restaurant right on the Plaza de Armas so we could do some people watching while we ate. We decided to eat at La Yunta Restaurante because the guidebooks we read recommended their pizzas.
To start, Jenkins and I both ordered the Andean lemonade with spearmint for our drinks. The lemonade was very lemony and the fresh spearmint gave it a very refreshing flavour. Jenkins thought the green colour of our drinks was a bit odd at first but it didn’t bother me too much.
Unfortunately, because we were eating at about 2PM that day, pizza was no longer available so we had to order something else. Jenkins decided to have a traditional Peruvian classic, the Aji de gallina. Basically, it is chicken in an aji pepper sauce, which gives it the yellow colouring. Also in the sauce is some cheese and olives. I almost expected it to taste like curry due to its yellow colouring but it had a creamy and slightly nutty and peppery taste to it that went very well with rice. The olives added some saltiness to this dish which melded well with the other flavours.
I had made a list of Peruvian classics that I wanted to try during my trip so I scanned my list prior to ordering to see if there was a dish I could order and check off my list. The Kero Negro was actually a tacú tacú, which is a lentil fried rice. Topping the rice was a pickly salsa of peppers and onions, whose crunch went very well with the rice itself. Accompanying the tacú tacú were two pan fried bananas, a small piece of fresh trout, and a fried egg. My dish was quite heavy but very tasty. The bananas in Peru are meatier and more like a plantain so it retained its texture even though it was pan fried. The trout was perfectly cooked and its lime seasoning contrasted nicely with the heartiness of the rice.
I had never had Peruvian food prior to coming to this trip and both Jenkins and I were very impressed with the food we had at La Yunta. It was a bit touristy, being based right off the central square but the food tasted very fresh and the combination of flavours was completely different from what we were used to. Trying these dishes at La Yunta definitely piqued my excitement for the other Peruvian dishes I was looking forward to trying during our trip.
Portal de Carnes 214 (right off the Plaza de Armas), Cusco, Peru