A Fresh Milk Renaissance in Lima

So far, from a few years ago where “fresh milk” was a childhood memory, or a thing one got in the country, there has been an renaissance of fresh milk here in Lima. I have had a dickens of a time explaining in some places that I was looking for fresh milk — not cold milk. But, Lima is beginning to get milky! There are now four brands of fresh milk… the stuff that expires and goes bad within a few days… you recall? Most milk here is shelf stable UHT and sold in bags or boxes. So far there are four types of fresh milk available (all since that day in 2014, when I saw it for the first time).

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Milk and yogurt. From happy cows.

Vacas Felizes: translates to happy cows. This organic milk can be bought at the bio-feria, farmers’ markets, and a few shops.

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Yogurt, but the bottles are the same for the milk.

Danlac: owned by the mega-company, Gloria, but they have a great publicity campaign. The bottles are old fashioned and I see the bottles being reused all the time.

Plusa: sold in plastic bottles with a red cap.

And then another brand also in a glass bottle with a black and white cow pattern on the bottle. This one is not so good. But, I’m happy it’s here.

Now, I’m just waiting for the arrival of fresh, delicious cream, in liquid form, without sugar added. There is some cream to be had, but it’s not fresh sweet cream. Or clotted cream, Devon cream, or creme fraiche, skyr, actual thick full-fat Greek yogurt, or quark… but I digress.

Every Dish Name Has A Story

Some Peruvian dishes have funny names, and all the dishes have a story. It’s useful to know what is what. Many of the dishes originated in the working class and I have been doing my own experiment to see if it’s true (more on the class system later).

Suspiro limeño = sigh of a person from Lima: the classic pudding dessert from Lima
Causa = cause: a layered cold potato dish whose origin is supposed from the women helping their men with fighting for the cause in the 19th century.
Leche de tigre = tiger’s milk: the lime marinade used for ceviche.
fullsizeoutput_1b1Chicharrón… de pescado = pork crackling… of fish (in the photo, the leche de tigre has chicharrón of fish on it): this is the terminology used for deep fried fish or chicken, etc. Much like “chicken fried” in the U.S. Chicharrón is also used to indicate the substantial pork roast cuts that include the crackling. Also the name of the sandwich (often served for breakfast) with the same pork roast slice.
Jamón de pavo = turkey ham: turkey deli meat that is processed to taste like ham.
Malarabe = bad arab: a soup from the north of Peru.
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Revolución caliente = hot revolution: a pastry sold at night, with its own song. Steeped in history.
Champú = shampoo: a dessert
Aeropuerto = airport: a stir fry dish so named because a lot of items land on the plate, mainly noodles and rice. This dish was named in the 1990s.
Siete colores = seven colors: a dish of seven colors, made with the following dishes — cebiche, tallarines rojos (pasta in red sauce), cau cau (made with tripe), papa a la huancaína (potatoes with yellow sauce), chanfainita (a dish often made with lung), arroz con pollo y ocopa (a peanut based sauce).
fullsizeoutput_1c1Mostro (but a variant of the correct spelling of monster. I was excited to see the dish on a menu — proof that the dish actually exists) = monster (pollo a la brasa y arroz chaufa): a spit roasted chicken quarter on a mountain of fried rice.
Mostrito = a small monster: an eighth of a roast chicken on fried rice. I was disappointed that a small monster wasn’t a larger whole chicken, but that’s me with my sense of humor…

The last two dishes are most recent and many people have not heard of them and when I ask where one can find them, I’m told “in the outskirts” which is the euphemism for the “hood.”

“Turron” Cake for the Lord of Miracles

IMG_0450In Peru, in October, the Lord of Miracles (el Señor de los Milagros) is celebrated with a cake called a “turrón de Doña Pepa” which is a type of shortcake, with hints of anise and sticky with honey, covered in color sprinkles and stars. In the 17th century, during an earthquake which leveled Lima, one painting of Jesus remained intact. Other miracles were attributed to this painting and people began to venerate it. Every year, during October, this painting is taken on processions (with the faithful wearing purple and asking for miracles) in the streets of Lima.

And people eat turrón. It is available all year round but look for this heavy weight to make its appearance everywhere in October.