Pisco, Cerviche and Cuy or Things You Can Eat and Drink

August 1, 2006

Food and drink. Without either of these we would surely die. The following are some local recipes from the sierra to the costa for the above and more. Delia Smith eat your heart out, or as you will find, eat its heart out.

Pisco is a grape brandy which I have taken a liking to, particularly as a Pisco sour, or Pisco marancuya, with passionfruit juice. Delicious. There has been a brand war between Peru and Chile over this national drink, though it does appear to be a Peruvian aguardiente. The name is derived from a Quechua (the main indigenous language) word for bird where these big sweet grapes grow in the southern coastal region in the Pisco valley. It is described as a grape brandy and the first Pisco sour cocktail was invented in the 1930s at the Morris Bar which was owned by Mr Morris from England. 

Pisco sour #1 (courtesy of a Peruvian friend of a friend)

2 ounces Pisco

3 ounces lime juice

I egg white

2 ounces sugar syrup or jarabe de goma

Pisco Sour #2 (courtesy of a restaurant in Miraflores, Lima)

2 ounces Pisco

4 juiced limes

1 egg white

2 ounces sugar syrup

Pisco Sour #3 (courtesy of a table mat in the restaurant El Parquetit, Miraflores, Lima)

3 ounces Pisco

1 ounce lime juice

Half an egg white

1 ounce sugar syrup

In all cases mix everything together in a blender with ice cubes (four or five). Shake well until it’s foamy. Serve in a glass with a sugared rim and a slice of lime. Add two drops of bitter angostura, if you like.

Cerviche (a traditional dish, which has, they say, been eaten over the past thousand years and is now eaten everywhere in Peru, particularly on the coast and comprising of lots of white fish in a marinade )

1 kg soft white fish cut into bit sized pieces (Sole and Halibut)

Or half soft white fish and half shellfish

Diced onions

Chillis chopped

6 limes

1 tbs olive oil

1 tbs fresh coriander

Salt and pepper to taste

In a dish, add the sliced onions, the chilli and coriander. Make a marinade from the lime juice, olive oil, salt and pepper and pour over the fish. Leave for between 10 to 60 mins until it is soft cooked.

Serve with boiled potatoes or maize.

Cuy or Guinea Pig (my recipe for this dish which is eaten in the mountains)

Take one Guinea Pig. Kill it, skin it,  then roast it. Present it with a pepper stuffed in its mouth.

Anticuchos (like a shish kebab)

Mountain street food of marinated lamb or beef hearts cooked over coals on skewers.

Chicha (Maize or Corn beer served in chicharias throughout the mountain areas. Urubamba has countless chicherias which are denoted by the presence of a red plastic bag tied to a pole outside. Royston Vasy doesn’t know what it is missing).

Germinating maize seeds are, somehow, made into a strong fermented beer which renders many of the men as Borrachados (drunks). See them walking through Urubamba’s streets after a night out.

Pachamanca (traditional roast in the mountains)

Dig a large hole and fill with stones. Light a fire and use the hot stones to cook meat as well as the three hundred plus potatoes they have in the country of the spud’s origin).

Inca Cola (can be bought everywhere)

A sweet, golden yellow fizzy drink which is nothing like its near namesake Coca Cola.


3 Responses to “Pisco, Cerviche and Cuy or Things You Can Eat and Drink”

  1. Nigel said

    “Oh, let the sun beat down upon my face, stars to fill my dreams;
    I am a traveller of both time and space, to be where I have been;
    To sit with elders of the gentle race, this world has seldom seen;
    They talk of days for which they sit and wait and all will be revealed…”

    Courtesy Led Zep’s “Kashmir” (The best my useless head could come up with!..)

    Thank you for sharing your experiences & insights with us – you have been an absolute joy to read!

    Be well, be good, be bad, Be-Bop-a-Lula…

    Love, Nigel! XX

  2. Wordy Dave said


    For fuck’s sake, spice it up a bit, will you?

    I don’t want fucking recipes, I want tales of debauchery. Get on with it.



  3. kevin spaceman said

    Actually Dave that’s my fault. I asked Mira to post recipes as I used to work as a cook.

    Anyway I dropped out of sight, but hope you’re doing fine dearie.

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