The three best meals in Peru

So yeah, everyone talks about Peruvian food. We ate some good stuff there (we also ate stuff that was just like Bolivian food too). But three meals easily stand out as the best.

Ceviche in Huacachina
This is the best ceviche ever. It was super fresh and tender, perfectly marinated and a good-sized portion. We also ordered fried squid which came with yucca and salad. Also out-of-this-world delicious. It was so good that we went back the next day and ordered it all again.

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[I have to apologize for this picture. I assumed we’d be eating ceviche like this all over Peru, so I only took pictures with my iPod. It wasn’t true. No where came even close to this meal.]

Tamarind pork in Lima’s Chinatown
Peruvians are quite proud of their chifas. Certainly they have the best in South America, although the food is very Westernised (and bizarrely some Chinese restaurants only serve fried chicken). But at a random restaurant in Lima’s Chinatown we ate an almuerzo that included wonton soup and main dish for 8 soles. The pork was lovely and barbecued, with lotus and radish in a thick, sour-sweet tamarind sauce. Heaven in my mouth.

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[Are you noticing a theme with these pictures? Also shown here is a chicken and vegetable dish with -gasp! – bean sprouts and bak choi. Virtually non-existent in South America.]

The old standby of Lomo Saltado
Chopped up steak, onions, tomato and chips, all fried up together and served over rice. This particular one was served at a roadside restaurant on a tour we took in Huaraz. I don’t even really like steak very much. Or onions. But these ingredients were fresh and perfectly cooked. I couldn’t get enough.

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[Look at all those vegetables. It’s got to be healthy, right?]

What’s your favourite Peruvian food?

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Colombian tidbits and book giveaway

I’m very excited to bring you not only a guest post today, but also a competition!

Cinda C. MacKinnon is a writer who grew up in Colombia and Costa Rica and wrote a novel, A Place in the World, set in Colombia. She fell in love with the people, culture and natural setting. In this post she talks about something many of us love about Colombia: coffee. Don’t forget to read on for details of how to win a digital copy of her book.

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A brief Coffee History:
Colombia is the second largest coffee producer in the world…second only to Brazil. The volcanic soil is ideal for growing coffee. The geography however made it difficult to transport the beans to market, especially in the past, as most of the best regions were the least accessible. It is a boom-bust industry at the mercy of weather, politics and markets. Many growers fought to remain solvent in the last century and Latin American countries were asked to adhere to quotas – to which they bitterly agreed.

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In 1975 a disaster in Brazil, the Black Frost, ironically aided the Colombian coffee market. When a terrible freeze killed over half of their coffee plants and ruined the crop, demand went way up for Colombian coffee. Brazilians quickly began planting the Coffea robustica species because it grows fastest. The Arabica variety however, which Colombia is known for, is the higher quality coffee; this made Colombia the leader for the most sought after coffee. (I personally think Costa Rica is in the same league.) In more recent years Vietnam has become an equal contender in terms of quantity.

Here is a fictional, but realistic passage (from A Place in the World) that depicts more about coffee cultivation from coffee growers giving a visitor a tour of their finca.

They walked between rows fragrant with coffee flowers. Alicia trailed along, followed silently by the finca’s yellow watchdog.
“The more flowers, the more fruits,” don Felipe said. “We calls them cerezas.”
“Cherries,” interjected Jorge. Felipe nodded, and pointed to a dark green seed. “When they turn red, they are ready for harvest. The bean is inside.”
“Will you pick them soon? Is it harvest season?” Peter asked.
“No season, really,” don Felipe smiled, brushing his salt and pepper mustache in place. “We pick the cerezas several times a year, at least two times between diciembre y abril, and also whenever they seems ready. Usually ’round agosto. But the cherries ripen continually, at the same time they start the new seeds.”…
…“We harvest more in the dry season. They have more ripe fruits then,” Felipe said. “Is not rare to have flowers, green cherries and ripe ones all the same time. Is for ‘dat reason that the coffee is gathered always by hand…for so not to damage the new fruits.”
… Did the first stock come from the jungle?” Peter asked.
“Ah no!” don Felipe beamed, raising an index finger and then lowering it at Peter. “That’s what many peoples think, but the coffee is not native to South America. It comes originalmente from Africa and Arabia. And peoples say…” he paused to ask Jorge how to say “Ethiopia.”

The Panamanian connection:
Everyone knows Colombia is famous for coffee, after all they invented Juan Valdez – but this excerpt tells a story you may not know about its history with Panama and the United States.

20131021-080507.jpg The Panama Canal famous-places.com

“Tell me about your American grandfather,” Alicia said.
Jorge turned out a palm. “His name was Mark Curtis and he was an engineer on the Panama Canal.”
“You know when the building of the canal was inherited from the French, Panama was still part of Colombia, no?” he asked.
“I guess most foreigners don’t know the story, but I went to school here, remember?”
He disregarded her remark and went on. “Theodore Roosevelt and his advisors decided it would be much easier to build the canal if they didn’t have to negotiate with Colombia. A revolution was instigated…it became a tradition of American intervention and orchestration of Latin American politics.”​
Abuelita is from an old Colombian family. They were indignant over American expansionism and the loss of Panama.” Jorge laughed as he told her the next part of the story. “There was a Carvallo family schism when my papi wanted to marry Mami…a Panamanian-American.”
…and now Jorge wanted to bring another gringa into the family.

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Have you ever been on a coffee tour? Where does your favourite coffee come from?

Cinda will give away a free Kindle eBook (or PDF) of her novel to the best question or commentator on this post! So get writing! (Reviewers also eligible for a freebie.)

Set in an emerald cloud forest in the final decades of 1900’s the passionate novel reads like a South American Out of Africa. A Place in the World is the romantic-adventure story of a young biologist and a multicultural cast of characters. When her Colombian husband deserts her on his family’s coffee farm high in the Andes, Alicia struggles to make a life there for herself and her son even as guerrilla uprisings begin to threaten the area, and a nearby volcano rumbles to life.

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Check out Cinda’s Pinterest boards for fabulous photos of Colombia, rainforests and coffee. You can also get to know her better by visiting her website and blog, and liking her Facebook page. You can get a softcover copy here and the e-book version in various formats on http://www.smashwords.com or Amazon.

Bolivian Food: some of our favourites

Bolivian cuisine is not exactly world famous. With the opening of a restaurant in La Paz by Danish chef Claus Meyer, this might change. But I’m not interested in fine dining. I’m interested in the cheap eats you can get in barebones restaurants. So here are some of our favourite dishes that we used to order when we lived in Bolivia.

SOUPS – Bolivian soups are hearty and filling. Although served as a first course, the portion sizes are sometimes big enough to make it a whole meal.

Chairo

Image from Jornadanet.com

This murky green-grey soup is made of onions, carrots, beef, wheat kernals, choclo, potatoes and chuño, as well as a bunch of herbs I can’t identify. It sort of reminds me of scotch broth.

Sopa de Mani

This soup uses ground peanuts which gives it a thick, creamy consistency but not really a peanut flavour. It contains pasta and vegetables, sometimes with a chunk of beef.

MAINS – Usually heavy on the carbohydrates and meat, light on vegetables. Like soups, the portion sizes can be huge.

Aji de Fideo

Image by simodoodle

This pasta dish is similar to a bolognese, but with a greasy, meat-based (rather than tomato-based) sauce. Oh, and some potato for good measure. We are in the Andes after all.

Chuleta de Cerdo

This is another type of roast pork, chancho a la cruz, which involves more meat.

A pork chop, cooked in the oven, and sometimes rubbed in a sweet-spicy sauce. It’s usually accompanied by roast potatoes and cooked banana.

Trucha or Pejerrey

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Trout and kingfish are farmed in Lake Titicaca. They are usually served fried with rice and ‘salad’ (onion and tomato). At the street stalls in Mercado Rodriguez, your order of fish comes with two kinds of potato, yucca and oca – tuck in with your fingers and try to get through even half of all those carbohydrates.

Saice

Saice is a mix of minced beef, peas and potato, served with rice or pasta, and salad. It’s one of the few dishes that’s light on meat.

Queso Humacha

Image from eldiaro.net

Although I’m not entirely sure of the ingredients, I think this is the only vegetarian dish I’ve seen in Bolivia. It’s a sauce of yellow aji (non-spicy) with pieces of cheese, onions and habas (broad beans/ fava beans), served over potato and choclo. It’s mild tasting, but the salty cheese is my favourite part.

Sajta de Pollo

Chicken, peas and potato in a rich, slightly spicy sauce made from aji. Served with double carbohydrates, of course.

SNACKS

Pasteles y Buñuelos

These delicious fried dough products are served in the morning as a breakfast snack, often accompanied by api. A pastel has a small amount of cheese inside, whereas a buñuelo is just plain dough (much like a chewy doughnut). Both are sometimes dusted with icing sugar or drizzled in a sweet syrup.

Tucumanas & Salteñas

Various forms of empanadas, which I wrote about here.

Sandwich de Chola

Image from saveur.com

These sandwiches are full of deliciously juicy roast pork (scratchings and all) and escabeche. Accompanied with whichever sauce you like, my favourite being llajua.

Anticuchos

Image from cochabamba.gob.bo

The ultimate late night snack, these kebabs of beef hearts (which taste like the tenderest steak you’ll ever eat) are served from street stalls that advertise themselves with a bright burning flame next to the grill. Add potato and spicy peanut sauce and you’ve got half a meal right there.

How to spend a week in Samaipata

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Day 1: Sunday
Arrive after 17 hours from La Paz, 2 hours waiting in Santa Cruz and a 2 and a half hour drive in a cramped minibus full of French people who speak to each other and ignore you. Go to Don Gilberto’s Tours to get a taxi to the farm where you’re volunteering. Wait over three hours for the surly Don Gilberto to return from helping a man with a cow. After explaining where you want to go, ride in his ancient car while the sun sets over the green hills around you. Be greeted by a dread-locked Brit with a headlamp who leads you up a slippery mud trail to an earth-built cottage. Once inside the one-room shack and sitting under the dim light bulb, drink some kind of tea and eat rice and vegetables from a wooden bowl offered by your host. Explain a little about yourselves and listen to your hosts beliefs on ‘forbidden archaeology’ and other conspiracy theories. Finally, take your bags halfway back down the slippery mud trail to the volunteer shelter (which is mostly just a tin roof surrounded by tarps, with a couple of hard bed bases and sleeping bags that leak feathers). Ensconce yourself under a mosquito net (not forgetting to trap a mosquito in there with you) and fall asleep quickly despite fears of scorpions and pumas coming from the nearby Amboró National Park.

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Day 2: Monday
Wake up late, but still earlier than your host. Make an attempt at using the dry eco-toilet but decide the bushes have far less flies hanging around. When your host finally awakens, go into the main house and see it in all it’s glorious dirt with light coming in from the plastic-bottle-windows. Cook porridge and listen to BBC World Service while discussing more conspiracy theories. Gather spades, a saw and pliers, and begin transforming part of the slippery mud trail into earth-and-wood steps. After several hours work, feel quite proud of your achievement even though it was mostly just following simple instructions. Take a tea break and then (following more simple instructions) plant two types of beans. When your host asks if you’re leaving tomorrow, nod non-commitally while mentally tallying up how many days you think you can survive this lifestyle. While climbing into bed fully clothed (and caked in mud), decide that tomorrow would be a good time to leave.

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Day 3: Tuesday
Although two weeks of volunteering turned into only two days, feel good when you wake up this morning knowing that soon you’ll not only be able to have a hot shower but also eat with clean plates and utensils. After breakfast (yesterday’s leftovers reheated), finish the last of the steps and then get a taxi ride from a man named Felix. Once in town, check in to Residencial Kim because it has a cute sunny courtyard and a parrot in a cage. Go to La Chakana and order the menu del día, even though lunchtime is over. Afterwards, take a shower (despite assurances of hot water, lukewarm is all you get) and quarantine all your dirty clothes together. Walk around town and find a cheap tour that’s leaving the next day. Go to a corner shop where a one-eyed cat butts its head against you in aggressive affection and buy bread and chocolate spread for dinner. Return to your room, start reading a new book and promptly fall asleep.

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Day 4: Wednesday
At Across Tours Amboró, realise that the group you’re joining are some of the same French people from before. After this disappointment, speak to them in Spanish and decide they’re not so bad but still feel happy when a lanky German joins at the last minute. Get into a big pick-up truck with your guide Clemente and travel along a dirt road to the cloud-forest area of Amboró. Walk through lichen- and moss-covered forest, with occasional patches of giant tree ferns. Pose for adequate pictures and imagine dinosaurs stalking through the primeval landscape. Start walking faster when it begins to rain. Eat a lunch of bread, ham, tomatoes and fruit while standing in a semi-sheltered spot and eyeing everybody in the group to see who looks the most bedraggled. Eventually make it back to the truck. On the return ride, periodically mutter swear words and clutch your bag tightly when the truck slides on the liquid-clay surface of the road. Instead of watching how close the truck is to the edge, concentrate on the terrified expression of the French girl and the fascinated look of the German filming everything. At the last patch of slippery surface, get out of the truck and push it from one side every time it starts to slide to prevent it from going into a ditch. When you get back to Samaipata, thank Clemente profusely and then ask about going on another tour tomorrow. Arrange to come back at 8:30pm to confirm. Enjoy removing your soaking wet shoes and take another lukewarm shower, then go to Cafe 1900 and order hot chocolate and chocolate cake. Splurge on dinner at Latina Cafe and be mildly surprised when the chicken curry contains carrot and potato like a Japanese curry. On returning to the tour agency, find it closed and discuss with Mikael the German about what to do tomorrow. Say you’ll check with the agency in the morning and then knock for Mikael at his hostel.

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Day 5: Thursday
Wake up to grey clouds and rain and decide not to get out of bed. When Mikael comes looking for you, feel a little relieved to hear that the agency was still closed. Since he’s going to the farm you just came from to volunteer for a day, arrange to hire a taxi tomorrow and go somewhere after the solstice celebrations at El Fuerte. Head over to the museum on Calle Bolívar. Before reaching your destination, be accosted by an out-of-breath Mikael who is now not volunteering as there was a mix-up on the phone. Change into your walking shoes (still wet from yesterday) and get a taxi together to Las Cuevas. On arrival, hide your ignorance that Las Cuevas are in fact waterfalls. Walk leisurely and take ample pictures of gushing water, red sand beaches and misty hills. Back in town, get the almuerzo at La Chakana again, then laze about in your room since the weather is chilly and your shoes are still wet. For dinner, go out to a tiny restaurant on Calle Sucre whose only indication that it’s an eating establishment is the woman out front saying “Hay pizza!” Enjoy a nice Neapolitan while small children, a dog and a puppy run in and out. Watch representatives of four villages dance in the plaza in a ceremony for the solstice. Attempt to get information about whether taxis will be available to go to El Fuerte before dawn next morning. Despite asking several people, fail miserably and decide to just buy cheap Brazilian beer and drink it in your room.

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Day 6: Friday
Wake up at 4:30am and drag yourself out to catch a taxi up to El Fuerte for the solstice sunrise. Decide that 80Bs for a taxi is too much when normally it’s 10Bs per person. Wait half an hour for more people to join you. Watch a crazy woman shout at, and demand money from, some young guys drinking in the plaza. Try to haggle the taxi fare down unsuccessfully. Give up and decide that you don’t need to be there at dawn, plus if you visit during the day it’ll be less crowded with New Age hippie types. Go back to bed. Get up late and eat bacon and eggs for breakfast at Cafe 1900. Start walking to El Fuerte because you’re still mad at the Samaipata taxi syndicate. On the road out of town, be stopped by a turquoise jeep offering you a ride halfway to El Fuerte. Accept and have your faith in humanity restored when the driver refuses your offer of payment for petrol. Disembark and keep walking, periodically passing groups of Brazilians struggling in stiletto heels. Once at El Fuerte, try to avoid walking in front of Brazilians posing for umpteen shots in front of information panels, trees and, occasionally, picturesque ruins. Try to identify all the rock carvings from the viewing platforms and realise that from this angle they really do look like an alien landing pad. Take a taxi back down because rain clouds are looming ominously. Eat ice cream in the plaza, then take a final lukewarm shower and pack your stuff. Realise you’re really hungry and go to eat at 6pm just as La Oveja Negra is opening. Order three different types of beer and lament the fact you can’t get any of them elsewhere in Bolivia. Go to bed early and happy, having spent too much money.

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Day 7: Saturday
Go to the market and order api and pastel (confusingly called an empanada here). See a potato-cheese-pancake-thing that looks so delicious that you order a second breakfast. Ask a shared taxi driver when the next one leaves for Santa Cruz. He tells you now, so explain you’ll just be five minutes picking up your bags. Return in two minutes to see the driver loading up the luggage of different people who just took your space in the taxi. Sit in the plaza and wait an hour for the next one, reflecting that this is probably better than waiting longer in Santa Cruz for your bus back to La Paz. Finally board the taxi to find there are two people extra but that it’s not really a problem since the driver crams them in the front with him. And so with a final farewell, begin the curvy drive back.

For more pictures of Samaipata, see our photo essay.

Vinapho

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Yes, that’s pho. Yes, you can get it in La Paz. And yes, it’s good. Really good.

We discovered Vinapho shortly before Christmas. The sign for a Vietnamese restaurant had been up for ages, but since the premises showed no sign of life we assumed it was old and had been closed down a while. After a Game of Thrones marathon, we needed sustenance and headed out in search of food. And there it was, Vinapho, open and waiting to feed us delicious noodle soup.

The menu has changed a little since they opened. They now offer two sizes of pho as well as fried rice noodles, spring rolls and hotpot. They no longer give you a small dish in which to mix your soy sauce and chili. I’m guessing it’s because the waitress had to constantly explain to unenlightened Bolivians how to do it.

They also sell Korean beer and soju. I’m not sure why. The pho tastes better than at the Vietnamese chain restaurants I used to eat at in Seoul. It tastes almost as good as the home-made pho I used to buy from the tiny Vietnamese restaurant in Taiwan.

A word of warning: Since March, there was a sign in the window saying they were closed for two weeks for renovation. I’d been putting off publishing this post until they opened again, which has finally happened now that it’s June. Let’s hope they stay open now.

Address: Sanchez Lima (next to Hipermaxi supermarket) just off Plaza Avaroa.

Try more Asian food in La Paz at Corea Town and Chifa Dragon.

A postcard from Flor de Leche

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Good cheese is hard to come by in La Paz. You can buy ‘Cheddar’ and ‘Gouda’ but you’ll be disappointed at the plastic consistency. You can fry tasty queso criollo (like halloumi), but it doesn’t melt which makes a lot of cheese recipes impossible.

But, if you’re willing to pay for it, there is Flor de Leche. Run by a Belgian, located in Achocalla (just outside of La Paz), and producing organic, European-style cheeses and dairy products, Flor de Leche is sold in all the supermarkets here. And, you can visit their factory in Achocalla. Even better, they have a restaurant there which serves fondue and raclette.

Hell, I didn’t even know what raclette was until I saw the table next to me. But that saturday lunchtime, sitting on a lawn eating a big pot of melted cheese, I could be forgiven for forgetting I was in the middle of the altiplano. Except that the fondue came with little potatoes as well as bread and salad. Unlimited potatoes, bread and salad. It was good. Really good. The perfect way to get a cheese fix in La Paz.

After stuffing ourselves on fondue (which was meant for two but easily fed the three of us), we asked our waiter if we could see where they made the cheese. Although no one was working in the factory at the weekend, he got the keys and opened up the processing areas to show us. It was pretty cool seeing lots of cheeses floating in the dark.

Flor de Leche
Contact: (591-2) 2890011 it’s necessary to make reservations
Open: Saturday and Sunday
Cost: Fondue / Raclette 150Bs, Pizza 75Bs
Directions: No.4 Calle 4 de Abril. From La Paz or Zona Sur, take a bus to Mallasilla, get off at the roundabout and change buses to Achocalla (it might be the same bus you’re on, so ask the driver). You can also get a bus direct from El Alto. Stay on the bus as it goes past the lake in Achocalla and look out for a small wooden sign on the left. Flor de Leche is a few minutes down the alley.

Salteñas and Tucumanas

Salteñas and Tucumanas. Although these are demonyms for people from Salta and Tucumán, in northern Argentina, they’re also tasty street food snacks in Bolivia.

No one’s really sure how they got their names. Whilst Salta is famous for the best empanadas in Argentina (which I can personally attest to), these bear only a passing resemblance to salteñas from Bolivia. A salteña has a hard, baked pastry shell which encloses a stew-like mixture of meat, potatoes and other vegetables, with an occasional olive or piece of hard-boiled egg. Eating one takes some caution as the liquid tends to squirt out when you bite it. The trick is to bite the top off and then drink the broth before moving onto the solid parts.

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I was told a story about their origin in which two brothers from Bolivia married two sisters from Argentina. When they moved back to Bolivia, the wives started cooking these meat- and vegetable-filled pastries and their business took off. People would say “Let’s go to the salteñas” and over time the word became associated with this style of empanada.

It’s a nice, convenient story but I doubt how true it is. Plus it explains nothing about tucumanas. What I do find particularly interesting is that it attributes the invention of a national icon to non-Bolivians.

Whilst salteñas are not to everyone’s taste (they have a sweet flavour as well as savoury, which I think comes from both the type of pastry and the broth inside), tucumanas are a little more conventional. They’re big, fried empanadas full of juicy meat and vegetables (and probably a piece of egg too). Sort of like a Cornish pasty on steroids (sorry empanadas, but ham and cheese is far too light a filling for me).

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My favourite thing about tucumanas is the stuff that comes with it. Mid-mornings you’ll see people clustered around tucumana stands, spooning vegetables and drizzling sauce onto every bite they take. There’s escabeche (pickled vegetables), diced cucumber and tomato, peanut sauce, llajua (chili salsa), some kind of green and spicy sauce (which I’ve no idea what it’s made of, but is absolutely delicious!), as well as mayonnaise, ketchup and salsa golf (ketchup and mayo mix).

If you’re at all worried about hygiene, you might not want to partake of the vegetables; you serve yourself with a spoon from a big tub, and that spoon touches everyone’s tucumanas which have just touched everyone’s mouths as they chow down.

Where to eat:
The best tucumanas I’ve had are found at the corner of Calle Zoilo Flores and Calle Almirante Grau in the morning when Mercado Rodriguez is open at the weekends. They are always super fresh, fried before your eyes. They cost 5Bs, which is a little more expensive than others around town. Another good place is Calle Mexico, which is lined with portable food stands during the morning, throughout the week. Salteñas are sometimes sold from the same stands as tucumanas, other times they might be sold alone. The ones in Plaza Murillo are the freshest I’ve had. Often, if you see only a few left for sale, they may have been sitting there a while and have probably gone cold. Like tucumanas, they taste better warm.

The best way to spend 20 Bs in Bolivia

Aside

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Got 20 Bolivianos and want a bottle of red wine that’s not disgusting? I recommend Aranjuez and Altimus.They’re both quite smooth and better than “not disgusting” in fact. Both hover between 18 and 23 Bs depending on where you do your shopping. Liquor stores are cheapest. Ketal supermarket is the most expensive (unless, perhaps, you have a Ketal card). Campos de Solana is not as good, but will do in a pinch. Whatever you do, avoid Kohlberg. This can be difficult, since it’s often the only wine available at restaurants. But unless you enjoy the taste of cough syrup mixed with port, I’d give it a pass.

Ass Gigante

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In Chile, fast food (burgers, hotdogs, sandwiches) usually involves mayonnaise and mashed avocado. Not as a sauce, side or dressing, though. No, here they are more like fillings. Whilst a quarter-pounder of avocado isn’t so bad, that much mayonnaise is just gross (and this coming from the girl who puts mayonnaise on everything).

So we avoided fast food in Chile. Even though it was tempting to order an ‘ass’ just to find out what it was. Instead, good old google came up with the answer: it’s an odd spelling of ‘as’ which means ‘ace’. So there you go. Next time you’re in Chile you can order one knowing its the best choice of hotdog swimming in mayonnaise that you’ll ever get.

Chifa Dragon

Living in Bolivia (and traveling in South America), the one thing that I really feel homesick for is Asian food and food culture. I miss varied and hygienic street food. I miss being able to get something to eat at all hours of the day or night. I miss dumplings.

So when I want a little bit of Asia, I go to Chifa Dragon.

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The food itself is more like western-Chinese than Asian-Chinese style; a bit greasy and heavy on meat, but still delicious (there’s also more vegetables than you might find in a typical Bolivian plate of meat and rice). Although you’ll be served by a cholita, there are Chinese people working here (better still, I’ve seen Chinese people eating here – always a good sign). A nice reminder of my time in Taiwan, it serves tofu stir-fry and a whole chicken foot in your soup bowl. If you’re lucky, they’ll be showing an 80s movie on TV (notice the Karate Kid II in the picture above) or a Latin telenovela.

It’s open pretty much all the time – even Sundays – and if you like eating in a restaurant with no pretension about it being anything but a functional place to get sustenance, then this is the place for you.

A big plate of rice and/or noodles with stir-fried meat (chicken, pork or beef) and vegetables costs 22-25 Bolivianos. Other, more expensive, dishes are available a la carte.

Address: Calle Almirante Grau (the block between Calle Illampu and Calle Zoilo Flores), San Pedro, La Paz

After some more Asian food? Try Corea Town and Vinapho.