After traveling in Peru for a while, I was beginning to get sick of the same staples available everywhere; pollo con papas (chicken with fries).
Arequipa reawakened the foodie in me. I welcomed rocoto relleno (peppers stuffed with meat, served with au gratin potatoes and cheese) and chupe de camarones (crawdads boiled in a delicious creamy cococut curry broth, similar to curry laksa) and downing a gigantic glass of chicha morada, a juice made from purple corn, with it. All the above can be found in local picanterias. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out where the best ones were and wasted some money on taxis getting to them, only to find out they closed when the food ran out. But in the end, I made it to La Palomino and La Capitana, two of the finest Arequipa had to offer. And my tastebuds were jumping with joy.
Arequipa offered a lot more than the two dishes above. One of the more interesting but very expensive restaurants actually serves food “Inca style”, basically meat cooked on hot stones. I did not eat there as I enjoyed picanterias more.
(Shamefully, I did sneak in a Burger King, KFC, Chinese sweet sour chicken amongst my meals but don’t judge me!)