Saturday, January 17, 2015

The Incredible Food

Growing up in the South I was always quite picky about what I ate, and it drove my mother crazy.  I didn't like most southern foods because they were all bread and gravy, which later felt really heavy and uncomfortable in my stomach. I liked  the fresh corn on the cobb, that I would eat when I went to the country with my neighbor Diane and her family. I use to love going there, because that was my first experience with farming and fresh foods.

 I would watched them wring the necks of the chickens, remove all the feathers, and then cut him into pieces to cook, but I could never eat it afterwards.  If I got to Diane's grandparent's house and the food was already cooked, I could eat all of the drumsticks and wings that were visible.  The chicken was good, the pork was good, the corn was good, along with the large bowls of collards and peas;not to forget the large plate of  hot cornbread. Some of these foods were harvested fresh from the garden or the chicken coup for that days dinner, which was usually a Sunday.

 This was all before Genetically Modified food was introduced.

Being in Peru reminds me very much of my time in the country. Where the fruit tastes like fruit and the chickens look like chicken.

 Where I can eat rice and potatoes in the same meal and not gain weight. Where the families process their food and not factories.

In Peru you can watch them make the chorizo sausage, using various spice combinations,and they are, oh so very good.   I throw them in the freezer and use them to cook many of my vegetable with as well as eat the for breakfast with eggs. 

 You begin to understand how these skills are necessary. Small scale food processing is a dying skill in the USA, one that people today will pay big money for because the population is craving better quality food.

The eggs pictured below are stacked in a warehouse store front. I believe it is where most of the restaurant owners go to buy their supplies, but you as an individual can buy here as well. 

When I first saw eggs stored like this or on shelves in the supermercados (grocery stores) and not in the refrigerated area, I got a bit nervous.  Then I remember my mom telling me that when she was growing up, they would store their eggs on the counter and not in the ice box.  I then realized that these were fresh eggs and not GM ones. When I first broke one open, I was amazed at the color of the yoke,, a bright orange.   

They sell everything by the kilo, so a kilo of eggs is about S./ 3.50- 5.00 ($1.16 1.66) and it comes out to about a dozen eggs depending on size.   They are fresh from the farm  and you can tell how they were raised by the color of their yokes.

Also in these markets you will find all sort of grains.  I have not learned to cook them all but I am working on it for sure.  Learning to cook this food is a great experience.  The fact that I can eat all of this and still lose weight is beyond me. I must admit that I did some research on this and I realize that being in Cusco at such a high altitude is one of the things that  really made the difference.  The food being free of hormones, fillers, and other chemicals is the other.

The food is one of the reasons why I want to live here forever.  I went home to the states for just a few days back in April of 2014, and in 4 days of eating the food, my digestive system was in distress.  It was not until I returned to Peru that it cleared itself.  Now it may have cleared itself if I had stayed in the states a bit longer, but I am sure that I would have had to find a way to help it along,  with things like Activia or something of the sort.

Peru is also the home to many of the wonder foods of the world. One being the noni fruit.  When you enter a market you can smell the noni fruit.  The juice is what most people are familiar

It is exciting for a foodies like myself and my daughter to experience such good food..  I have always  loved going to restaurants and trying something new on  the menu and coming home to try to replicate that same dish. 

 My ex-husband was really good at telling you which spices were in a dish just from tasting it  He is a  true foodie and a fabulous cook who introduced me to many culinary delights.

Now I have moved to Lima from Cusco, Peru, and am loving the fresh seafood here.  Not as much seafood in Cusco, because it is in the mountains, but now I am eating ceviche everywhere.

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