Peruvian Desserts – Lúcuma

Lúcuma.

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.

I LOVE LIMA

Where would I recommend in Lima to eat a lúcuma dessert?

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Lima // Museo Larco

Museo Larco, or Museo Rafael Larco Herrera to use its full name, is somewhere you MUST visit when you come to Lima.

It has an incredible collection of pre-Columbian treasures and artefacts, and is a fantastic introduction to coastal Peruvian tribal history including not only the Incas but the tribes that came before or lived alongside them. If you don’t know a lot about the people that inhabited coastal Peru before the Inca reign, then this museum will show and inform you about the Moche culture, the Lima culture, the Huari culture, and much more.

The artefacts here are incredibly well preserved, including jewellery, ritual items, pots, vases and textiles. The main museum gallery is laid out in sections and each section is in chronological order so that you can see the evolution of different tribes and the similarities and differences between their belief systems and ways of life.

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