NORTHERN BEACHES - PERU
In the towns and coastal coves of the North of Peru, the delights have an aroma of the sea, of fresh fish and stimulating seafood. Here, the wise seasoning of the villagers encounters the freshness of the fruits of the sea, to create exultant dishes, able to satisfy to the most demanding sybarites.
In Tumbes, the local menu is nourished with fish of excellent flavours, like the grouper, the sole and the swordfish, in addition crabs, oysters, lobsters, prawns and the famous black shells, extracted from the exuberant mangroves are used.
With these ingredients proverbial and forceful dishes like the Noche de Bodas or Wedding Night (a fish broth concentrate), the Ceviche de Conchas Negras with black shells (marinated in lime and decorated with onion and the Limo local red pepper), the Ají de Langostinos - prawns drowned in a grated bread sauce with yellow hot peppers), and the Majarisco (seafood sauce served on a base of crushed green bananas) are prepared.
More to the South, the coastal dinner tables of Piura receive the visitor with individual ceviches and chilcanos (concentrated broth of fish), like the chilcano of Suco, good for people that stayed up too long or hangovers and the chilcano of tramboyo or grouper that - so it is said - increases the power of seduction of the lucky person at the table.
In the main Piura beaches, especially in Mancora, one can taste a diversity of meals with lobsters and large oysters, the stars of a vast culinary beach tradition that includes other marine exquisite things like the Arroz con Mariscos -Rice with a Seafood Sauce or deep fried chunks of fish - Chicharron de Pescado.
In the beaches of Lambayeque, a Region famous for its excellent cuisine and drinks, you must try the Chinguirito - a Ceviche made of salted and dry ray fish marinated in lime juice and the ray tortilla (with dry ray); and, in La Libertad, nothing is better than the traditional Pescado a la Trujillana, prepared with steamed fish with a sauce of eggs and onion or a good shrimp or shell fish cocktail.
But that is not everything, the culinary feast of the North coast includes appetising Chupes de Cangrejos - Crabs in a soup with milk, eggs, potatoes and beans, to mention some of its ingredients), tiraditos (similar to ceviche but with less maceration and without sliced onions), Sudado de Pescado (with tomato, onion, red peppers and a little corn mead), and Parihuelas - a concentrate of fish and seafood), among other meals that were born of the popular inventiveness.
In the Tumbes Coast the meals are usually accompanied by a drink of tender Coco nut milk and brandy; in Piura and Lambayeque the Chicha de Jora or Corn Mead served in the so called local "poto" small container; whereas in La Libertad, the local beer and chicha of maize or jora combine perfectly with the traditional meals.
Sea, beaches, waves and good food. Could you ask for more?