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Posted by on Jan 18, 2012 in Eat, Peru, South America, Travel Info

Learning to Cook Peruvian food

Arequipa was not originally on my travel plans – I´d never read anything about it or bothered to . not sure why not. But Camille, whom I met in Potosi, and spent Christmas with in Sucre, told me there was a gigantic monastery here and I should spend some time. Monastery? Old buildings? I´m in.


I arrived in Arequipa at 4:30am. Seriously? What am I supposed to do at 4:30am? Taxi drives me to a few hostels before somebody finally lets me in – Home Sweet Home – what a fitting name for a hostel, and I would have to agree. I slept the morning as arrival at 4:30am is not conducive to a productive, happy-me day.

After waking, first things first, I handed over my stinky laundry, and read the wall postings of what to do what to do. I saw they offered cooking class. This is exciting. I am the worst cook on this planet with a history of burning pasta and soup turning wonky. So, taking cooking classes is always good for my skill diversification and hopefully rectification of past mistakes. (Doubtful, but I am hopeful). And – I LOVE Peruvian food. Seafood based cuisine? Definitely for me. So I inquire at the front desk – she says, how is 12:30 today for you? Wow, quick service, excellent.

So I hang around until 12:30. Turns out, the niece of the owner went to culinary school and she will be my instructor. She is quite nice and we head off to the market together. I always love markets (minus the meat smells), because there is all these foods and ingredients in them that I could only imagine what they are used for! (and my imagination does not stretch far, aka wonky soup). We start buying and I start handing over money. When I say handing over money, I mean in total I spent 21 Peruvian Soles = $8 Canadian.

Look at the amount of food I bought! Which includes a bag of fresh fish and a bag of assorted seafood!

And we commence. I am already a bad cook – as indicated – but being instructed in Spanish makes it even more fun. When you learn spanish – cooking instructions and directions are not top priority. She would tell me to chop, and dice, and sift….and I stared at her cheerfully with a smile on my face like a child and asked for an example to follow. I am good at following visual instructions – sort of – I only maintain a minimal grasp of how to properly use a knife. It is difficult for me. It is ok to Judge me.

You would figure with my difficulties in the culinary arts I would simply cut my losses – but no – that is not my style – and I do so enjoy to Cook – especially tasting all the foods alone the way and learning how certain foods emphasize the taste and flavours of other foods. Interesting stuff.

Here is my end result:

This is:

  • Ceviche (raw fish/seafood with lemon juice sauce)
  • Papas de huancaina (potatos & egg drenched in a yellow curry sauce)
  • Mazamorra Morada (purple corn & apples boiled with flour sifted in to make a jelly)

YUMMMMMMMMMM. I am please and impressed with myself. All fingers remain intact and the food was amazing.

Whats Your Favourite Peruvian Food?



  1. I am planning a trip to peru do you have a contact info for the instructor?????

    • This is in Arequipa Peru and I was staying at Home Sweet Home Hostel. She was the owners niece! So you’ll have to go to the hostel and ask for her!


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