Gourmet Food Tour- Lima, Peru
As soon as we booked our flight to Lima, Peru, Scott and I knew we were going to book a gourmet food tour. It seemed like the perfect way to introduce ourselves to the food and culture of Peru as we began our journey for the next few weeks.
Lima is one of the culinary capitals of the world. There are many different cultures in Lima, which has resulted in a fabulous blend of fusion, which combines food from around the world with traditional Peruvian favorites.
Choosing a Gourmet Food Tour
We booked our tour with The Lima Gourmet Company. It is highly rated online with over 1,000 positive reviews. I like to read up on different tours and companies and I couldn’t find a negative thing about the Lima Gourmet Company. So, it made it an easy choice.
Lourdes Montoya, our guide, met us at the designated place at 9:30 a.m. sharp and off we went. It was fun meeting the other guests on the tour, who were from New York City, Hong Kong and Brazil.
Our first stop was the charming district of Barranco. Our group walked through part of the town as Lourdes explained significant points of interest to us.
As we held hands and our breath, we crossed over the “Bridge of Sighs,” which was built in 1876. Legend says if you do this, all of your wishes will come true. Ever the optimist, I believe it.
Our first stop was for coffee at a local roaster called Tostaduria Bisetti. They even have their own lab for analyzing, sorting and roasting coffee beans.
We had a choice of several coffees and Scott sipped a traditional cafe con leche, while I tried the Italian Espresso. What could be better than coffee with ice cream first thing in the morning?
Time For a Shake
Next, we walked to La Bodega Verde, a small garden café. There we enjoyed a Lucuma Fruit shake, which was really rich and yummy. The taste is similar to a combination of maple syrup and sweet potato. Lucuma is the most popular ice cream flavor in Peru!
The café would be the perfect spot to just hang out and relax surrounded by trees and blooming flowers, if you have any extra time in Barranco.
A Visit to the Open Air Market
Our small group piled into the van and we drove to the district of San Isidro. There, we walked through the open air market, as Lourdes taught us about different fruits available. Scott and I were amazed to learn there are 8,000 types of potatoes grown in Peru!
We were able to try so many kinds of fruit; dragon fruit, chirimoya, goldenberry, and my favorite, the sweet cucumber. Scott loved the mini avocados too. Some fruits were not to my taste, as they were slimy or had too many seeds.
Next, we arrived at Embarcadero 41 Fusion for a lesson on making Pisco Sours. This is a very popular drink in Peru. Pisco is made from grapes and has an alcohol volume of 42%. To begin the lesson, each person from the group took a shot of straight Pisco. I was shocked at how strong it was and it burned my throat all the way down.
Lourdes had the bartender give us the proper instruction for making the cocktail, and we learned the order of the steps we needed to take and the quantities of each ingredient.
3 oz non-aromatic Pisco
1 oz fresh squeezed lime juice
1 oz sugar syrup
Large egg white
2-3 drops Angostura Bitter
After adding all ingredients except the bitters, shake with ice and then serve with the bitters on top. The egg whites give the drink a nice foam top. This drink is delicious and it was the first of many we would enjoy in Peru.
Eventually, we mixed with another tour group and made our way over to a long table where everything was set up for our ceviche lesson. I’m not the greatest cook, so I was excited to see how it would all go. I loved how everything was prepped for us and in bowls on the table! If only cooking at home was this way!
Luckily, the chef instructed us step by step, and explained when to add each ingredient. We were able to adjust the ingredients as we went, per our own tastes, like no onions for me and extra cilantro and chili peppers for added spice!
1/2 small red onion
4 sprigs fresh coriander
1 tsp diced rocoto, or other spicy chili
1/4 cup fish stock
10 limes, juiced
Salt and pepper to taste
Blend: 1/2 celery stalk, 2 garlic cloves, 1/2 onion, 1/4 tsp ginger, 1/4 tsp chili pepper, 1 sprig cilantro and 1 tbsp mayonnaise.
The lesson was so much fun. We finished our drinks and ate all of our ceviche.
On a gourmet food tour you must be prepared to eat a lot. Our stomachs were full upon arriving at our final stop, La Huaca Pucllana. It didn’t stop us though, as Lourdes ordered a sampling of several Peruvian fusion dishes. Our table was full of so many options! We tried baked scallops, Causa, Anticuchos (cow heart), corn croquettes and Lomo Saltado. The Lomo Saltado is a popular beef dish and we were served it many times as we traveled around Peru.
Finally, the desserts were brought out and we all managed to do our best finishing them. My favorite was the lucuma mousse, it was rich and fluffy. Because of my aversion to rice, I passed on the rice pudding.
An interesting part of our dining experience was sitting at the patio outside, which was adjacent to the ruins of Huaca, an archeological site. It was once the ceremonial center of Lima, dating back to 500 AD.
I can only imagine how amazing the ruins would look at night all lit up.
Thoughts after returning home:
Our experience with Lourdes and the Lima Gourmet Company was excellent. Lourdes proved to be a wonderful new friend and I was able to email with her as we traveled through Peru. She is a wealth of knowledge and gave me plenty of tips for other cities besides Lima. We actually ran into her again at the end of our trip as she was leading another group through Barranco. She is a huge asset to the company, and we learned so much.
This is not a sponsored post. We were given a small travel bloggers discount. All opinions are expressly Scott and Jaynie’s.