Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Lake Titicaca Reed, then More Ceviche, Confit Guinea Pig and Mint & Pisco Mousse

OK so I'm skipping alot of my trip due to poor/unmemorable food and we're in Puno, close to the Peru/Bolivia border, next to Lake Titicaca.

Met this woman grinding wheat to make flour. 

While doing a tour of the lake, we stopped off at the Uros floating island. I don't really have a meal to report from there, although we did get a chance to try one of the indigenous staple foods, the reeds that grow around the shores of the immense lake. It was fairly bland, I suppose I'd probably liken it to daikon - a very mild radishy flavour. However, as a free and almost limitless foodsource for the locals, it wasn't bad. Plus, I was told it contains heaps of Iodine which prevents goitres. You learn something new every day!

 Me, eating Reed.

After arriving back from the island, Kiwi and I stumbled upon a small restaurant that was offering a two course lunch for 2.50 Soles (About £0.60 / AU$1). The food wasn't terrible (I had Moron Soup to start, followed by Pan-Fried Fish and Rice) but for $1, you really can't complain! (I still don't really know what moron is though!)

The Lunch Menu

In the evening, we are taken to a very nice restaurant (especially by Peruvian standards) to which the main downside is it offers "traditional" dancing while we eat. Painfully touristy.

I apologise in advance for my lack of photos, I cannot remember why but I didn't have my camera with me... ANYWAY, on to the good stuff, the food...

V and I shared a bottle of Concho y Toro Exportacion - a delicious Argentinian red - while I had Pejerrey (Kingfish) Ceviche for starter and Confit Guinea Pig for main.

The Ceviche was good but not great; it needed more lime and alot more chilli, but the presentation was excellent; it looked fantastic on the plate.

The Confit was served with quenelles of mushroom mash, sauteed vegetables and red wine jus - it was quite delicious, the flavours worked brilliantly together, but there was far too much jus so it did overpower the dish somewhat, and the cuy (Guinea Pig) was undercooked. It was cooked, but as a confit it should have been cooked slower and longer - the meat was not tender enough and it was still fairly fatty. The presentation was not bad, although the plate did look a little plain, it definitely needed some more colour.

I also ordered dessert - not because I could possibly eat any more, but purely because it sounded fascinating - Mousse de Muña Sour en Terciopelo de Ayrampo (Andean Mint & Pisco Sour mousse in Ayrampo Velvet).
Disappoingly, however, it was by far the worst course. The Mousse contained too much mint, so as you cannot taste the Pisco, and it was far too firm; there was too much gelatine in the mix. It slmost felt like eating a sponge, flavoured with terribly artificial peppermint extract. Ayrampo is a type of cactus seed, apparently, but I failed to recognise any type of "velvet", whatever it was supposed to be!

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