Some of you might say “That’s not a dessert”, or even “What the hell is lúcuma?”, but I assure you that this is the main ingredient in some of the tastiest desserts here in Peru. So, yes, technically not a dessert in itself, but a major player in the dessert arena, and I could not make a list of Peruvian desserts without it.
Lúcuma is a fruit native to Peru and I have not noticed it to be eaten commonly as a raw fruit. It has quite a burnt taste about it, but when mixed with ingredients for ice creams or mousses, it lends a caramel note to the dish, which is just beautiful. The colour is a deep yellowy-orange, not that far removed from an egg yolk or a sweet potato perhaps. Which is a coincidence because a sweet potato also gives a sweet, caramel flavour to dishes when cooked. When sliced in half, the lúcuma looks like an orange avocado, due to its green skin and large brown seed in the middle.
The fruit is most commonly used mixed with dairy ingredients to make ice cream, smoothies and mousses, and it also partners very well with chocolate.
Where would I recommend in Lima to eat a lúcuma dessert?
Sunday lunches are my kind of lunches. Long, lazy and with a lot of food.
And at The Marriott, ‘a lot of food’ is just what they’re offering.
The Marriott Hotel is situated just behind the Malecon (the path that follows the clifftop) and Larcomar shopping centre in Miraflores, and their restaurant ‘La Vista’ has beautiful views of the ocean in front of it.
La Vista has 4 types of buffet throughout the week; breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea (amazing) and a Sunday lunch buffet.
It takes a while to get settled into a new house, but I love it.
And in between all that moving and cleaning, a girl has gotta eat, right?
Where better than Matambrito…
This great little place in Punta Hermosa has already become a favourite.
They specialise in Pollo a la Leña, which is chicken cooked in a brick oven over a wood fire. There are other items on their menu but this is their number 1 dish.
And so we continue to the next stop on our journey.
Day 3 (Saturday) – COSME
I love visiting San Isidro on holidays because there is little to no traffic in your way, which never happens on a regular day of the week. I had been wanting to try COSME ever since it opened and the Easter break was a perfect excuse to head to San Isidro and try it out! I also really wanted to see the incredible recycled, multicoloured ceiling that they had!
I mean take a look! It’s mesmerising, no?
I hope you all had a great Easter break, whether it was Thursday – Sunday, like in Peru, or Friday – Monday, like in the UK!
4 days is a nice little mini holiday and I spent the majority of mine eating. No surprise there then.
One of the places we visited was Naruto. It’s this great little Japanese restaurant that serves a damn fine ramen soup.
We’ve been meaning to try this place for a while, and holidays are always a good excuse to go out to eat! I also knew we would probably be eating a lot over the weekend so we thought a good soup would do the trick.
The front of the restaurant is plain black with their logo and gives nothing away.
But inside is a whole other story.
As I mentioned in this post, we have two weeks here in Lima called Lima Food Week. This is when around 25 restaurants offer a set menu of 3 courses for lunch (S/59) or dinner (S/79) to showcase what their restaurant has to offer to the people of Lima.
On of these restaurants is La Nacional.
Don’t you just love their logo!
Established as a deli in 1821, La Nacional has become a fully fledged restaurant. Located on La Mar, it has a prime location to attract foodies which head down the famous avenue looking for good food. And good food…no, wait,… fantastic food is what I found,
I went into La Nacional with no expectations and they absolutely wowed me.
El Pan de la Chola is a bakery and café all-in-one and it is one of my favourites.
I first visited about 6 months ago, but my friend Vanessa had never been, so I took this opportunity to introduce her to the wonders of the freshly baked bread here.
Jonathan Day, the owner, honed his baking skills whilst living in London after finding breads there that were not like those to be found in Lima. He brought his knowledge back with him to Peru, eventually opening El Pan de la Chola, home to amazing bread, coffee, extracts and sweet treats.
His bread is made just using flour (ground on site), water and a starter. No yeast, just the natural starter to help it rise and it is left to do so for 24 hours.
Sunday was absolutely boiling, but we braved the high temperature and sunshine in search of food.
Today was the turn of Gaston Acurio’s Italian restaurant, Los Bachiche in Miraflores.
The title makes it sound much more epic than it was.
The border I refer to is the one between the districts of Miraflores and Barranco.
See. Not as epic.
However, the places we were heading to for a sunny Saturday afternoon happened to be on either side of this border.
The weather was sunny, but not too hot, so we had decided to bike.
^My bike is the red one at the front. How Cambridge is that?!
MATE is the gallery of world renowned Peruvian photographer Mario Testino.
Mario Testino is most well known for his photography in the world of fashion, from magazines such as Vogue to superbly successful advertising campaigns for huge fashion houses. He is also famous for being commissioned to photograph the Royal Family in the UK, including Princess Diana.
When I first moved to Peru, aside from one friend (an amazing girl I met on my flight home from Peru on my first trip), my boyfriend, and his family, I didn’t really know anyone. All my English friends existed on Skype & WhatsApp, plus being on a 5/6 hour time difference.
Thank goodness I eventually met Vanessa. She is the sort of person that you just have to find if you move to a new country. We’ve not only become great friends, but also each others language teacher, therapist and food eating partner-in-crime!
This week we decided to catch up over lunch in La Preferida, an amazing hub for seafood dishes in Lima.
I was an honorary Oompa Loompa for the day, and it was brilliant.
OK, so I didn’t get to make a chocolate river or see geese that lay golden eggs, but I did learn how to make chocolate from ‘bean to bar’ at the Choco Museo.
Through the workshop at the Choco Museo in Miraflores, and other locations, you learn about the production of chocolate and what you can do with the final product. You start with the cocoa pod and follow the process all the way through to making your own chocolates to take home.
Plus, you eat & drink an awful lot of chocolate products throughout, which is always a bonus!