El Mercado

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Peruvian cuisine has always been considered one of the great cuisines of the world. Until recently, it did not receive the international attention it deserved. Recently, people flocked from all over the world to experience its rare palate. Peruvian food is the product of the fusion of the food of the Incas, one of the Spanish conquerors and the many immigrants groups that populate Peru: Italian, Japanese, German and Chinese. The amazing bounty of fish, vegetables and herbs that grow in Peru’s fertile environment, together with the richness of its ocean and fauna provide a great variety of raw materials for experimentation.

Lima now has many outstanding restaurants, and one of them is El Mercado. There, in its relaxed informal setting, you can taste the full splendor of Peru’s innovative cuisine. On my recent trip to Peru, I had a delicious lunch at El Mercado. It consisted of corvina ceviche followed by a Picante de Cameron’s: a spicy crayfish stew, served with rice and additional hot sauce for those of us who like food on the spicy side.

Peru’s “pisco sour” is the drink to start. To be followed by one of the outstanding Peruvian wines.

After lunch, we drove to Elena’s to taste a delicious “teja” — a sweet made of candied lemon and stuffed with dulce de leche and coated with sugar. A true delicacy. For me, these foods come filled with the flavors of my youth and of the country where I was born and raised.

Gabriella De Ferrari

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