Friday, July 06, 2012

In quest of Peruvian delicacies

What I am really looking forward to is a drink made from this - pisco sour made from the content of this bottle from the Andes
I did some serious grocery shopping before leaving Lima, but there were at least one ingredient that I did not get - a good bottle of Pisco, in order to make a pisco sour. My friend John (who is born and raised in Peru) went on a quest to find some Peruvian ingredients in Barcelona a few weeks ago, and he did! Not funny though, considering the connection between Spain amd South America.
Huacatay leaves
John went to the famous Bouqeria Market off La Rambla and asked if they'd ever heard of Huacatay. The lady he asked confirmed  that she had some fresh Huacatay in packages. 
Packages of Peruvian ají amarillo and ají panca
Tagetes minuta, also known as black mint is called Huacatay in quecha. It is used as seasoning in Peruvian cuisine.

John also asked whether they had ají (peruvian chillie). They did have dried ají amarillo and ají Panca. When in Lima, I bought the aji amarillo as powder and it was fiercely strong.  
John also found Peruvian Pisco about a block from Casa Batllo on the western corner of Carrer d' Arrago and Rambla de Catalunya streets. This liquor is the base of pisco sour, my favourite drink.
So I really hope that with these ingredients in house may mean that I can be invited to a Peruvian feast soon. 

3 comments:

John Wroughton said...

A Peruvian feast coming soon to a neighborhood near you!! I've been experimenting with a pesto-like mixture with roasted pine nuts, ají amarillo, fresh (albeit frozen) huacatay, garlic and sunflower oil. I find it promising.

As for pisco sour mixing, I will need work on getting the balance between the sweet and the sour right. Our first trial was simultaneously too sweet and too sour.

John Wroughton said...

I still can't get over finding huacatay at the Boquería market. Will buy even more next time as it is dwindling fast from my freezer. It pairs well with ají amarillo. I've been making a pesto-like mixture with roasted pine nuts, ají amarillo, huacatay, garlic, salt and a neutral oil. Love it!!
Will have to get the sweet-sour balance right on the pisco sour. Our first trial was too sweet and too sour...

John Wroughton said...

I've been making a pesto-like mixture with roasted pine nuts, ají amarillo, huacatay, garlic, salt and a neutral oil. Huacatay pairs well with ají amarillo IMO.

As for pisco sours, I will have to get the sweet/sour balance right. Our first trial was too sweet and too sour...