As you know, to me the best kind of souvenirs are edible souvenirs… something to eat and reminisce about the place I am traveling in.
In Peru, these are my recommendations on what to bring home to remember your trip by:
Lay’s Perurísimas Potato Chips – Peru prides itself for having 1,000+ potato varieties. We had the chance to taste some of them during our dinners. But for munchies, the best potato chips I’ve had in a while are Lay’s Perurísimas. These are similar to a Terra chip, but made with several varieties of Peruvian potatoes. With a very light sea salt touch. De-li-cious!!! I wanted to bring back several bags of these… I will be campaigning for Lay’s to distribute these in the US and Puerto Rico.
Maras Salt, the Peruvian Pink Salt – Near Cusco there’s a place called Salineras, where Sal de Maras is harvested. Sal de Maras is a pink, very flavorful salt only available in Peru. You can buy it in any supermarket in the area. And I suggest you do so, because if you decide at the airport, you’ll be paying a hefty premium for forgetting it while you were buying your Perurísimas chips.
Maca – Lately, I’ve been hearing about all these add-ons you can add to your morning smoothies to make them more nutritious. Among these add-ons is maca powder. Maca is a Peruvian root, similar to a radish, which has been cultivated for many, many years. It is many times eaten as a cooked vegetable but for us outside of Peru, is more convenient to have it as a powder. Maca is said to help with anemia, boost energy, improve athletic performance and memory and even help with the symptoms of menopause. It’s also used for weak bones, depression, boost the immune system, erectile dysfunction and even to arouse sexual desire.
When I went to buy this at Whole Foods and saw it was a Peruvian thing… I waited to purchase it during our trip. I was lucky enough to find organic maca. I tried it first in a blended juice drink where they added maca to it. The taste is a tad bitter, but that may be a factor of the amount of maca they added to the drink. I only plan to add a tablespoon to my morning smoothie. Will report about the effects of it later on… OK??
Selva Brand Orange Juice – I have told you about my love for Orangina… so imagine this Selva Orange Juice is like Orangina, but without the fizz. It’s sweet and tart at the same time. It’s light and delicious. We bought a few bottles along the trip to have in our room to snack or to have for breakfast. I wish I could’ve brought a few bottles home with me. I would have if I had brought with me the super large Ziploc bags to make sure there wasn’t any spillage in my suitcase.
Oatmeal Cookies from La Gran Fruta – I’ve told you about La Gran Fruta… and these cookies make the best gifts for friends at home. Have them taste a little piece of Lima thru these cookies. They might crack into pieces, but no-one will care after they taste their deliciousness.
Ají Amarillo – My friend Mara is from Peru… and she urged me to bring home some ají amarillo, the one used to make salsa huancaína to serve with potatoes or sweet potatoes. I did not get a lot of time at the supermarket right before returning home, so I bought a packet of Ají Mirasol. I hope I bought the right thing. But in the near future I will ask my other Peruvian friend, Lucy, to share with me her papas a la huancaína recipe. We had a chance to have it at her Lima home and it was THE BEST papas a la huancaína we had the whole trip.
And in a completely unrelated to food topic… I also bought myself a nice little knitted hat made from alpaca wool. It’s the Peruvian wool of choice. I bought it in a little town called Chincheros from the nicest and funniest Peruvian lady ever. She should have her own stand-up comedy show… so I do sometimes buy stuff that is not edible. Just so you know… ;)
Have you been to Peru also?? What did you bring as a souvenir?