Mistura Aucayaquina was presented in Aucayacu last weekend to showcase and offer a variety of foods and products of the area. It is based on Mistura, an annual food expo held in Lima.
Stands had a variety of foods including foods from the various regions of Peru. The rocoto relleno is something you would find in Arequipa, the soups were from the Andes region. While papa rellena is a typical food from Lima, this was definitely a jungle version since the filling was chicken instead of beef. Grilled food seems to be on every street corner in the jungle and the food adorning these grills was no exception—juanes, plantains, and a banana leaf wrapped fish soup.
Several universities were presenting innovative creations that promoted jungle foods. A group of students had made a vinegar from fresh pineapple, called Piñagre. I returned home with a bottle and plan to try it out on some roasts and salads. Another group had bottled nectars from a variety of jungle fruits, one of which I had never tasted before!
Students selling natural jungle nectars
Nectar made from the cacao fruit
Students selling grilled foods made with Pinagre
Pinagre: Pineapple Vinegar
Anticuchos featuring Pinagre
Grilled meat made with Pinagre
A variety of presentations had been planned, including live music, dances, and recipe preparation.
One of the tables caught my eye because there was a dish being presented I had never imagined. We adore eating carapulcra but I had yet to dream up a combination of carapulcra with plantains, and yet there it was in front of me—Carapulcra de Platano. To say the least, I was intrigued. I talked with the lady visiting from Tingo Maria to learn more. She was presenting a large variety of dishes that creatively used bananas and plantains and lucky for me (and you!) I walked away with several of the recipes!
There were a variety of desserts to enjoy. One lady had cups of traditional limeñan desserts like arroz con leche (rice pudding) and mazamorra morada (purple corn pudding) as well as andean desserts like tocosh (a potato pudding) and mazamorra de calabaza (pumpkin pudding).
Some of the last stands we visited made the biggest impression on me. The Golden brand of liqueurs made by Foods Trading S.A.C. that we tried including a coconut cream, coffee cream and chocolate cream were delicious. I bought some chocolate from the Asociación de Productores de Cacao & Café—Aucayacu and hope to make something delicious with it! I was also invited to visit their brand new fermentation and processing plant … something for a future trip!
When it came time to eat, what did we choose? Given that we were in the jungle, and that most jungle food is my favorite, I headed straight for the area that was making and serving tacacho. My husband went straight for the barrel smoked pork, which they sold out of before he could order, so he came to the same place I was ordering. He chose the grilled pork while I had “Pollo Kanga” which I plan to recreate in my own kitchen because it was amazing! We also enjoyed fruit juices, cakes, tamales, and other samples along the way!
Mistura, whether the annual event in Lima, or a local event such as this one, is 100% worth attending. These food fairs gather a variety of people, foods, and flavors into one place for all to enjoy.
My love of food was cultivated early on by my family but has come alive while living in Peru. During the 12 years of living in Lima, Peru, I have also enjoyed numerous trips to other areas of the country.
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