Continuing sharing my experiences from my time in Peru with Operation Christmas Child: Each morning for breakfast there was a wonderful buffet at the hotel. The first morning I didn’t eat very much. I felt just a little bit off, probably just nervous. After breakfast we met as a group for a praise and worship service before heading out in our teams to various churches. Our first real Peruvian meal was after the first distribution when the pastor as a thank you invited all of us to eat outside his home.
First we were served Chicha Morada to drink. It is a delicious drink made from purple corn. It is sweet and spicy. It reminded me just a little of spiced drinks we have at Christmas time. I had never had anything like it. If I can find purple corn I want to try to make it for my family!
Then we were served Ceviche. I was very surprised by this dish. From Mexico I knew that ceviche was raw fish, but in Mexico I’ve had it chopped up very fine in a salad of tomatoes, onions, cilantro, peppers, and of course lots of lime juice. I’m not a fan of fish but I do like Mexican Ceviche. Peruvian ceviche is much bigger chunks of fish marinated in lime, and served over purple onions. It was very good! I love lime, and I could hardly taste fish at all, BUT I had a really hard time poking my fork into a hunk of raw fish, and then putting it in my mouth. If I could have just forgotten that that’s what it was, I would have had no trouble eating it. We were all reassured that we would not offend anyone if we didn’t finish our food, so I did take the out I was given and didn’t finish it.
The ceviche was also served with slices of baked potatoes with a yummy cream sauce, a slice of what I decided must be sweet potato, and corn. The corn in Peru is much bigger and courser that what I’m used to in the US. There were also some dried and roasted kernels that were very tasty and reminded us a little of corn nuts.
This was such a neat experience! I loved being thrown right into the culture for my first taste of Peru!