What’s on the menu 8

October 2, 2009

No rat relatives on the menu today.  Nothing remotely funny about the name of the dish.  And everything we ate for lunch in our first Bolivian restaurant was legal, decent, honest-to-goodness grub.

It was just the price we thought out of the ordinary.  See if you agree.

First course – a help yourself, all you can eat salad bar.

salad bar












Second course – soup. My command of  the Spanish language is such that I can’t help you with the name of the dish, but there was definitely some lamb in there, as well as assorted vegetables, cream, chilli, garlic, olive oil, turmeric and other good stuff. 

Looked and tasted home made and jolly toothsome too.


Course three – linguini bolognese. Nothing more to add, other than it was fresh and there was plenty of it.


Finally, the dessert – trifle.


Total for four courses, £1.96 a head.

Coffee was included, but wine was extra.  My large glass of Argentinian Malbec Reserve came in at 80p.

They always get you on the drinks.



What’s on the menu 7

October 1, 2009

jungle potato

There is, reportedly, an awful lot of coffee in Brazil.

Similarly, there are 3,000 varieties of potato in Peru. 1,500 of which are in common every day use.

This, apparently, wasn‘t enough choice for our Peruvian porters. So they went out into the jungle and dug up some wild potatoes for our dinner (see above).

Once peeled and roasted, they looked a bit like giant, thick-cut chips.  

And tasted even better.

We asked what they were called, expecting perhaps a botanical name, or, at the very least, an epithet of Quechuan origin.

“Jungle potatoes,” came the reply.

 Ask a silly question.

What’s on the menu 6

October 1, 2009

quinoa porridge

Looks can be deceptive.  The beige-coloured, bland-looking item above is Quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) porridge.

Back home, particularly in Scotland, Quinoa is, to be honest, the sort of food beloved of beard wearing hippy types who frequent those faddy health food shops most of us can’t afford to shop in.

Over here, it’s a staple and they make a thousand and one things with it, including the rather splendid Quinoa porridge we are served every morning on the trek.

Maybe it’s the oxygen starved air up here. Or our trek-enhanced appetites. Or perhaps we’ve just gone native.

Whatever. This stuff is amazing. Dare I say it, even better than the oat variety?

And for that I fully expect to be escorted in chains from the aeroplane as soon as it taxis to a halt at Edinburgh airport.

What’s on the menu 5

October 1, 2009
Pachamancha - can you dig it?

Pachamancha - can you dig it?

This was the highlight, gastonomically speaking, of the trek.

Pachamanca.  From two Quechua words, pacha, meaning earth and manca, meaning oven or pot.

While we snacked on freshly made popcorn and coca tea, the Peruvian porters were hard at work preparing this delicious traditional meal.

First, a pile of stones was heated on a fire.

Next, a variety of meats and vegetables was wrapped in banana leaves and placed on top of the hot stones.

Finally, earth was heaped on top and the whole lot left to cook for a couple of hours.

The result is shown below in all its mouthwatering glory.


Nothing other than the best tasting lamb, chicken, potatoes, sweetcorn and other vegetables I’ve ever eaten. Soooo succulent, as a result of being literally steam-cooked in their own juices.

Pachamanca.  I dig it.

What’s on the menu 4

October 1, 2009

inca kola truck

In Scotland, Irn Bru  allegedly outsells Coca Cola four to one.

Here in Peru, they have another kind of Coke which massively outstrips the so-called Real Thing in popularity.

And no, it’s not cocaine.

It’s this stuff:

inca kola

What’s it like?

In appearance, Inca Kola is a greenish-yellow colour (don’t go there) and has a taste similar to bubble gum and not unlike the aforementioned Scottish national soft drink.

The big question: does Inca Kola contain any cocaine? Answer; like Coke, the original recipe did originally contain a few milligrams of the Class A drug in every bottle, but not any more. 

In fact, Inca Kola is now owned by the Coca Cola corporation and is currently available in 16 of the 52 united states.

No, they’re not a sponsor.  Just thought you’d like to know.

What’s on the menu 3

September 29, 2009


I kid you not, this is a well known brand of jam in Peru.

The juxtapositioning of the product shot and myself was unfortunate and deliberate.

Cheers, Fraser.

What’s on the menu 2

September 28, 2009


Yup, you’ve guessed it (well we did give you a big hint earlier).  Just because it’s a huge hit in Pets R Us, doesn’t exempt it from the dinner table.  Oh no.

Guinea pigs are to Peru what dogs are to Korea.

One minute they´re scampering  round the fire entertaining the children, the next they’re suspended over the flames with a skewer running right through them.

Such is life, but a poor family gotta eat.

And since Cavia porcellus just happened to be on the menu at Kirkcaldian Dougie’s Peruvian Delights Nite, we thought we’d give it a try too.

Verdict: pretty tasty, but bony as a turkey on Boxing Day.