Suspiro de Limeña (or Limeño, or without the ‘de’, or with ‘a la’ instead of ‘de’, etc …..) literally translates as ‘sigh of a Limeña’, (Limeña meaning a woman from Lima). I’m not sure where the name comes from but I think it’s quite beautiful and original!
The dessert is made up of two parts. The top is a soft meringue (think Italian meringue) flavoured delicately with port, and the bottom is a base of manjar blanco (a caramel made from milk and sugar) mixed with egg yolks, sugar, and vanilla.
It is a very sweet dessert. No joke.
I actually really, really love the soft, fluffy meringue that sits on the top. It is definitely my favourite part and I probably could just eat a bowl of that. Isn’t it amazing what egg whites become when they are whisked, with a little sugar, to within an inch of their lives!
The dessert in general is scrumptious, but I am super fussy with the particular ones that I will eat. Although, essentially, this dessert is made from milk, I do not much like the taste of it, and therefore do not like tasting milk in my desserts. In addition to this, a shortcut to make manjar blanco is to boil condensed milk until it becomes manjar, but the taste of condensed milk is a million times worse than regular milk. For me, a good manjar blanco shouldn’t taste like condensed milk, and therefore neither should any dessert with it in. Therefore, I am always super happy when I find a suspiro that fits the bill!
Here is a list of some of the best in the city that I have tasted so far, but I’m sure there are many more yet to be tested!
Where would I recommend in Lima to eat Suspiro de Limeña?
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?
It’s Valentines Day this coming Friday, but I’m not going to be baking some heart-shape biscuits, or heart-shape pancakes, or heart-shape anything for that matter. What I will do, however, is to show you what I love about Lima. Lima is not a place you fall in love with at first sight, or second sight even, it takes a little longer. But the love is there, you just have to find it! It plays a little hard to get, but keep at it. Give it a couple of weeks of your time.
……and seeing as you will now be spending a few weeks here, let me give you something to do!
I am going to share with you my Top 10 places to visit in Lima (in no particular order). These are by no means the only 10, and they are fairly general (mainly because I have lots of favourites so I’m grouping them!). There may even be better places that I have not visited yet, but for now this is what I would recommend to get you started.
I am going to share 2-ish per day so that I can go into detail if necessary without drowning you in information!
I also want to point out that these are mainly for people visiting Lima and not for people who already live here! I wouldn’t see many residents checking out a lot of the tourist spots, but who knows, maybe you will all be inspired!
An incredible museum showcasing and explaining the different cultures in Peru during the Inca reign, and the eras before and after. The museum itself is beautiful and well laid out, full of artefacts from different periods of Peruvian history. The grounds are themselves are beautiful and if you have the time, take a break in the restaurant which looks out onto the flowering gardens. Read more about Museo Larco in my post here.
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.