One day is not enough to visit Mistura: there is so much to see, so many things to taste and to learn. I´ve been walking around all day long, tasting food, taking photos, talking to the farmers and producers, and saying hi to all my friends. As I said, one day is too short a time to absorb it all. This year the fair will last 9 days, expecting more than 600,000 visitors not only from Peru but from many other countries as well. A huge success.
The variety of fruits, cereals, tubers, vegetables, cheeses, juices, Pisco,and crafts found here would be impossible to photograph, so these pictures are only a glimpse of the many things on display. I took some pictures of mashuas (tubers in different colors); some of the different colors of quinoa, our divine seed; ají charapita, a chili pepper from the Amazon jungle that is tiny like a blueberry but extremely hot; ají dulce, also from the Amazon; sacha inchi, one of nature´s power foods; camu camu, a fruit with the highest content of vitamin C in the world, which I found in the form of bottled juice and nectar.
Celebrity chef Flavio Solorzanowas one of the attractions of the day, and seemed to be having a great time surrounded by fans. The bakers from Nova were making bread in front of the public, and every now and then delighted them with “the baker´s dance”, a little choreography they had practiced to entertain the public. Andean women wearing traditional dresses were selling native cereals. And I was very happy to find a stand selling traditional breads from Cusco, called guagas and chutas. Guaga means baby in Quechua, and these breads have the shape of babies wrapped in a blanket. Chutas, on the other hand, are big, round, brick-oven breads – sometimes as big as the whole table!-, made of whole wheat, and usually accompanied by artisanal cheeses and hot chocolate.
From Lambayeque, a city on the North Coast of Peru, I found the famous King Kong, which is like an alfajor, but sturdier, filled with lots of manjarblanco (Peruvian dulce de leche) and dried fruits. And from Piura, further North, some tasty chifles (fried plantains), which are now exported to several parts of the world.
Mistura is certainly the right place to go crazy trying out all the delicious things Peru has to offer. It’s too bad I can’t show you all the things I found here in just one blog post. But if you haven’t had the chance to visit this important gastronomic fair yet, I hope in the future you can come. It’s a MUST for food lovers and the curious alike.