If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion, and avoid the people, you might better stay home. James Michener
Food is our common ground, a universal experience. James Beard
What better way to spend my last evening in Peru than to participate in a cooking class in Lima. I strongly recommend taking a cooking class in any country you are visiting.
Food is a central activity of mankind and one of the single most significant trademarks of a culture. Mark Kurlansky
Through the classes you learn about the history and agriculture of the local area. Food is an extension of the local culture and customs. The cooking experience enables you to use your senses of sight, sound, smell, touch and taste. And the newly gained knowledge and skills can be utilized back home to enable family and friends to share in your culinary and travel experiences.
A recipe has no soul. You, as the cook, must bring soul to the recipe. Thomas Keller
Prior to leaving for Peru, my travelling companions got together to prepare for the trip. Phyllis and I prepared several Peruvian dishes and drink from recipes we had found in cookbooks and online. While the food was wonderful and reflected what we experienced during our travels, my experience at the cooking class really did bring `soul` to the food.
Thanks to the connections that are made through blogging I found out about Sky Kitchen. Sky Kitchen is an amazing experience – from the location, the atmosphere, the food and most importantly our hosts (Yurac and Christian) – this is a ‘must do’ experience if you are in Lima. Check them out at http://www.skykitchen.pe/
The class prepared a four course meal.
Causa Rellena – what a great way to start the class and any meal. This dish includes potatoes (over 3800 varieties are found in Peru) and aji amarillo molida (yellow chili paste). When I returned to Canada I could not find any of the yellow peppers but was able to purchase online and have prepared this dish several times.
Cebiche (or as we call it here Ceviche) – before I had left for Peru I was urged by several friends to make sure that I had ceviche while in Peru – in their estimation it is the best in the world. I am now looking forward to making them this dish in the Peruvian tradition.
Loma Saltado – this dish combines the historic Asian influences with Peruvian ingredients.
Picarones – these delicious pumpkin and sweet potato donuts are often sold by street vendors.