Italian for Beginners

The title of this blog posting refers to a Danish movie from 2000, and my current activity. “Italian for Beginners” is a lighthearted entertaining movie about Danes who want something a bit more interesting in their lives so they go to Italian class. Romance and “viaggio” to Italy ensue.

Learning Italian is a bit topsy turvy for me as Italian is, in many ways, the opposite of English and Spanish. For example, the “che” is a “kah” sound and the “ci” is “cheh” sound as in “ciao.” The double ell in Spanish is spelled with a “gli” in Italian but the double ell like in “bello” is a really forceful ell sound. The ñ in Spanish is spelled “gn” in Italian so that “gnocchi” is “ñ-o-key” — and so on.

Actually, the phrase I’ve learned the best is “attenta su pronuncia” – watch your pronunciation.

But, it’s most important to say hello, goodbye, please, and thank you. So far I’ve learned that the Italians are very formal so one should not use “ciao” unless you are family or you are close friends. (Also, “Ciao” derives from an old Venetian saying for “I’m your slave.”)

Hello: “buongiorno” (bwon-jorno) until sundown and then it’s “buona sera” (bwon-ah sarah)

Goodbye: “arrivederci” (a-riv-eh-dare-chi)

Please: “per favore” (pear fa-vore-eh) or “per piacere” (pear pah-chair-ee)

Thank you: “grazie” (gra-ts-ee-ay)

Excuse me: “scusi” (skoo-zee) is the formal form and “scusa” is the informal.

One thing I have learned about Italian is how to say “good luck!” Contrary to direct translation, it is not “buona fortuna!” Instead, it’s “jump inot the mouth of the wolf!” Or “In bocca al lupo!” This is the equivalent to “break a leg” in Italian.

How to “Get” the Peruvians And Get What You Want From Them

Or the Cultural Intelligence Guide to Peruvians, or cross-cultural communication (to use the 1990s term for it). All this may be different now that COVID has erased some norms of meeting people in the same physical space. But, post-pandemic, I’m sure that these norms will return. (Note: First, the whiter, more male, and better looking that you are… the easier everything will be for you.) Now, on to the game!

If you really want to maneuver Peruvian society, and Peruvians themselves, the thing to know is… RESPECT. Not like how Aretha sang it, which was respect my human rights and me as a person. But, more like respect the societal rules, or the rules of deference. Peruvians know their place in their society and which class they belong to. They expect you to be respectful enough to treat them accordingly, and to behave in a way that reflects that you know the rules of Peruvian society. Capische?

Class structure. Understand how the Peruvians understand each other’s position in society. The class structure in Peru is by letter: A, B, C… (most people will say that they are B class as in B- but in reality they may be C++ class). As a foreigner, this will not really affect you but it’s useful to know how they deal with each other. When Peruvians who do not know each other meet, they ask three questions to help them figure where they belong in society.

1. They will ask you your full name to see if you have any connections. Peruvians have two last names from their father and mother, and if those names are distinctive, then they know WHO you are (imagine if you will that your name was Isabel Carmen Aliaga Varela — the Aliaga part could mean that you belong to the one of the original founding families of Peru. The Varela part could mean that you belong to one of the old money families of Lima).

2. Where did you go to high school. Most Peruvians do not go to university including the upper classes (even as recently as 20 years ago, upper class women were not encouraged to go to university — as they would not need a degree for a good marriage). If you went to one of the private schools like San Silvestre, Franklin Delano Roosevelt (the nouveau riche school), Italian School, Newton, and so on, then they can easily place you in society. Maybe they went to the same school. Then they have an instant connection with you. If you went to university abroad, in the U.S., England, or Spain, then you could be moving up in society. (Note on moving up in society: Education and overseas living experience are ways to move up in Peruvian society. Some families will send their children to public school 90 minutes away so that they have a better chance of moving up through the system. For example, a typical family of hairdressers and welders living in San Juan de Miraflores, a “conos” (projects or in some places shanty towns — squatting is a viable way to become a homeowner in these areas) housing neighborhood, will send their child to school in Miraflores, which is actually “San Miguel de Miraflores” but no one ever says that. By sending their child to public school in Miraflores, they are giving them an up and in into moving from C class to B class. Then the child studies abroad for university. When that person returns to Peru, they are now B class. To move from B to A class is a lot harder. A class tends to be families of old money and power. Even fame does not really help you move into A class).

3. Where did/do you live in Lima. As mentioned in the point above about school, your geography will determine your place in society. Peruvians who meet outside of Peru will ask where they lived in Lima. If the answer is San Isidro, Miraflores (not San Juan de Miraflores. Some will say this even if they actually grew up in the infamous one), La Estancia, then the other person knows that they are at least B class. Hence, everyone says Miraflores. If the person says San Borja or Barranco, it could be harder to tell. Even if the person lives in Lince, they may say San Isidro because it sounds better (people will even get dropped off in San Isidro and then walk the two blocks to Lince to make it look like they live in San Isidro… yes, it’s that important in Lima society).

Race. The color of your skin and your bone structure will also tell the other Peruvians where you are in society. Like in many other parts of the world, the women straighten their hair in Peru so that they will have less curly hair, but it can’t be too straight because then it’s too indigenous. But, they rely less on this than the aforementioned three questions. White, blue-eyed, and naturally blonde is upper class or foreign.

Another thing to understand about Peruvian society is…

Sycophancy – “pegajosa” or “sticky” is the closest word that I was given when I asked about brown nosing. But, since it’s not a bad thing -– it is simply the MO, modus operandi — way of conducting business -– it doesn’t have the same connotations that it has in English when accusing someone of being a a brown-noser. Peruvians don’t really talk about brown-nosing. It’s so normal for them that they don’t need to talk about it. There’s really no word for brown-nosing in Peruvian Spanish (sort of like how there is no word for privacy in Italian). It’s just how things are done. If you need something, it’s all — all — about who you know. It’s relational.

Peru is an extroverted culture with a preoccupation with “respect,” propriety, and formality — with obvious external audible and visible forms expected. The Peruvians are talkative people. They will ask you about your family, whether you are married, your age, and so on. Nothing is told in confidence. They feel free to share this information and to talk about you. Similar to brown-nosing, they may not really see this as a bad thing. They might just think they are being respectful to you by showing an interest in you. (Not that everything is benevolent. Peruvians seem to enjoy seeing slapstick or the failure of others.) Even if you don’t tell anyone anything about yourself, they might gossip about you anyway, even to you! Understanding that Peruvians gossip makes it easier for you to realize that this is part of the game of life in Peru.

Now, how to get what you want… here’s the secret! Make them feel that you are respecting them! Well, of course, you do, dahlin’. Make them feel like they are doing you a favor, even if they should just do their job. Always, always, make them feel like they have the upper hand. Then, make sure to thank them effusively, as in “muchisimas gracias” or “you saved my life” or some such hyperbole. These little thank yous will help you maintain the relationship for the next time you need something. It really is that simple. Be sort of sickly sweet. For men, just lower your voice a bit. Actually, men being men in a chauvinistic society, don’t need to kiss-up quite so much… depends on the class of the two actors.

Yes, really. This is the secret.

Now that you are in the know, here are some easy things you can do to make your way in Peruvian society easier. And to get what you want from Peruvians.

Speak Spanish. It’s respectful. Actually, the Peruvians speak “Castellano” or Castilian. It was the language of 12th century kingdom of Castile and Leon in Spain. The people of modern day central Spain speak this language to this day. Many South American countries call this form of Spanish Castilian. Of course, in Peru, there are colloquialisms. If you want to fit in, always use the term, “palta” for avocado. When giving directions, “siga defrente” or “sigue defrente” for “go straight” — I usually add a frantic chopping motion with my arm. If you mention “derecho” at all — at all,  the driver will start turning right. So keep “derecha” for your discussions of human rights. To sound friendly and intimate, say “porfa” for “por favor.” Also, Peruvians almost never use the word, “hola” when greeting people. But, they might say, “ciao” when departing. But it’s spelled, “chaw” if you are going to write it, but it’s better to use an emoji in Whatsapp.

Good day greetings — kissing on the cheek. Peruvians do one air kiss on each side, usually start on the right. If it’s a formal situation and the greeting involves a male, you can shake hands. But the cheek air kisses are okay too, while grabbing each other’s shoulders in a manly way. Most importantly, greet everyone! Seriously. Everyone. In stores, elevator, entering a conference, checking in, everyone. Every day at work, go around and greet all your colleagues, even if you saw them that long lost yesterday. At parties or events, you must personally greet everyone and say goodbye to everyone, individually. Peruvians are a people who want you to acknowledge them, each and every one, and that includes when entering a room. Even with your family. The way to deal with this is to show up on time for parties. So if the party is at 8:30 p.m., show up at 9 p.m. Then everyone who comes in after you, will have to come say hello to you. If you show up late, you have have to walk around and greet everyone. Then, stay till almost last. This way you won’t have to go around and say goodbye to everyone. Saying goodbye is an equal drama and it can take a long time. If you want to make a quick getaway, hug and kiss the hosts before giving the room a general wave and “Sorry, we have an early morning. We don’t want to cause a stir.” Then exit quickly. There will still be gossip, but at least you got away. The word for gossip is “chisme.” Women will sometimes start with “chisme, chisme, chisme…” when they want to tell you gossip.

Critically, start every interaction with a greeting. In shops, in email, on Whatsapp, on the phone — always start with a greeting. Always. On a somewhat related note, don’t barge straight into whatever you need or want. Even in a Whatsapp chat. Well, maybe if you are on fire, but I still think a Peruvian would start the call with, “Good evening, hope you are well. Could you be so kind as to help me? I’m on fire.” So, as I said, always start with a greeting. If not, you will look like a disrespectful boor.

Calling and Whatsapp. Lots of it. Use it. Use Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Whatsapp to communicate. Do it a lot. Peruvians like to feel the attention of those communiques pinging and vibrating on their phones. Preferably call. Peruvians want to feel the human interaction in every interaction. Nothing can be done quickly in Peru. There is no running in to buy a banana or a coffee. NO, no, no, NO. Peruvians would feel that they were denying you a respectful interaction if they did it too fast. They are not Scandinavians, who are famous for being efficient, if cold. For example, getting Internet set up in one’s home takes many phone calls and hours, sometimes days…

Dress and grooming. This is easy. Dress like Hans Solo. In winter. Google it. Or whatever the fashion dictates. A few years ago, every woman was showing up in white rabbit vests with gold accessories. In the summer, you can wear flip flops but really only when at the beach. Shorts are okay for men during the summer but best left for the beach town. Women are dressy. (A note: when you invite a Peruvian to an event, be it a food fair or theater outing, they will want to know the dress code. Peruvians are formal in terms of dress. Only in the last ten years have Peruvians allowed themselves to be seen outside a gym wearing sneakers. Yup.) Invitations will always state the dress code and for everything else, dress up rather than down. Wear jewelry. Critically, have your hair groomed and coiffed. Salons are open early (7 a.m. is very early to the nocturnal Peruvians) so that women can get their hair “blown” for the day. Women do not wash their hair every day (don’t be grossed out — they are clean) and they often go to the salon a few times a week to get it “done” for the next few days. Most women wear their hair long if they are younger and even if they are older. But, at some point, women of a certain age (no, older than that) will go for the short winged look in a shade of sandy chestnut color. I once sat at a salon and watch in amazement as the in house “blow-out queen” blew out woman after woman who came in looking like drowned rats… and then left looked like coiffed empresses ready to be driven in their Bentleys. Most importantly, women are coiffed when they go out. They will even carry a brush in their purses so that they can do a quick brush out if needed. Men generally have short hair but it’s okay to have a ponytail. I see few comb-overs in Lima. When bald, men in Lima seem to accept the baldness. Men can wear earrings as well (Back in the 1980s, men wearing earrings was a controversy — look how far we’ve come) but so far, most do not wear makeup (it’s a thing, it is — call it “tinted moisturizer” or “bronzer.” But, I digress.) Also, oddly, I’ve noticed some men who manage to make the white sock with birkenstock look okay. Wait, what am I saying?! Only Germans can pull off this look, and even then, not really. Peruvian men wear leather dress shoes or sneakers (as do lots of women). Again, word about sneakers. Until 2010 or so, no one wore sneakers outside of a gym. Now, everyone wears them.

Time. Most Peruvians will be late for parties or gatherings, even meetings. I find this a conundrum because being late is disrespectful. It wastes everyone’s time. The way to get around this is to be late yourself… no. One way to get around this is to host things at your own place. Or share a taxi to wherever you are going. And, have your phone loaded with other things to do… like Whatsapping all those folks you are brown-nosing, um, I mean, “chatting” with. If you are wondering how late to be for a restaurant meal, around 15-45 minutes is quite normal. For a private party, 30 minutes to an hour is normal. For business meetings, 10-15 minutes late is not late. Being late is all about “making an entrance” and the bigger a blowhard you think you are (but, I don’t think you’re reading my blog…), the more of an entrance you want to make. Drama!

Back to the idea of “formality” — yes the Peruvians are a formal people as I explained earlier. But when they mention “informal” — they are not talking about “casual” as in shorts and khaki. When Peruvians use the term, “informal,” they are talking about blackmarket or “under the table” prices or economy. But, if you ask a Peruvian, they will never use those words. It’s always the “informal” market. Peru leads in counterfeit (60 percent of things/ideas are “fake” or counterfeit in Peru). The informal attitude to copyright is part of the dichotomy that is only equaled by their sense of time. Unless one thinks of it as a form of flattery. About 70 percent of Peruvians work in the “informal” economy — from domestic staff to illegal commerce.

Finally, now that you know how to “get” the Peruvians and how to get what you want from them, remember this — don’t talk about this to them. Just as they don’t talk about the class system (yes, they have one), Peruvians, for all their talkativeness, don’t talk about their modus operandi. It’s not proper. Not polite. Shows a lack of respect.

Anyway, have I got a bit of juicy gossip for you… chisme, chisme, chisme…

M’s Adventures Useful Contact Info for Lima

Contact info for drivers, dentists, estheticians, mani-pedi, waiters, classes, chocolate, vets, furniture-makers, and other services you might be looking for while living in Lima. Some of these are services I have personally enjoyed and others are highly recommended. Most like Whatsapp as a form of communication. If they do not speak English and you don’t speak Spanish, use Google translate. (A note on Peruvian names: Peruvians spell their names with a creativity that has been written about in the national newspapers. So John can be Jhon, Jon, Yon, Yhon, and beyond.) To learn about some of these entrepreneurs, watch my video about them on the video page of this website or on YouTube.
CATERING/Waitstaff
Private chef and sommelier: Jasmine (speaks English): 944 534 074
Catering: Try Miski: 965 217 210
Waiters: Jhon Vasquez owns JJ Waiters (speak English): 993 163 866
Javier is a professional waiter. His daughter is also a waiter and she speaks English: 999 185 037 (about 100 soles for an event)
CLASSES (food and drink)
Chocolate and coffee classes at El Cacaotal with Amanda and Felipe. They speak English: 937 595 812, 939 447 367
Cooking classes: Sky Kitchen: 943 701 874
Buda Bakes: Amelia speaks English: 921 924 236
Masas Salvaje for sourdough breads, beer, and classes: Francisco speaks English: 933 790 881
Wine tastings: Jasmine (speaks English): 944 534 074
Wine tasting classes and certification in enology, and sensory analysis classes, try taking class with Jorge (speaks English) the Peruvian Sommelier School: eps@sommeliersperu.edu.pe 
WineBox, owned by Gonzalo (speaks English) also does monthly subscriptions of wine delivery to your house.
DRIVERS
Most taxi drivers can be hired per hour or for the day (30 soles per hour is the normal rate).
Yuberlyn: 923 484 172
Orlando (speaks English): 936 034 508
Michael (speaks English): 979 349 077
GUIDES
Brenda Ortiz (speaks English): graffiti tours and other tours of Barranco: 962 373 975
Miller (speaks English) has a fleet of vehicles and guides: 977 654 348
Dyan: While not a professional guide, she can take you for a hike, or fishing, or babysit your guests around town (speaks English): 937 210 084
PERSONAL HYGIENE SERVICES
Again, there are many places to get all these things done. But these are some that I know of.
Dentistry: Dr. Angeles speaks English: 998 237 144
50 soles for a checkup and cleaning with Dr. Miriam: 991-590-656.
Hair: Many places, but try Mariela who makes house calls: 942-961-464.
Thomas Bennett is an American hair stylist, speaks English: 970-740-639.
Mani-pedi: Monica is the best: 950-070-925. She makes house calls. About 60 soles for a mani-pedi.
Massage: Whatsapp Dora and she will send someone for massages and facials: 999-353-381
Facials: Brian Douglas speaks English: 987-727-133
PETS
Vets: For international transportation, I’ve heard good things about Petwings.
For house calls, Dr. Cols speaks English and can get your pet’s papers in order as well: 959-189-949.
SHOPPING
Like in many places, if you like to customize, personalize, design, then you can do that here, at reasonable prices. Let the inner designer out!
Ceramics: want those plates from Central? Jallpa Niña is the most famous store that sells ceramics but you can also find it at Dedalo and other locations. Almost all of these vendors only speak Spanish which is a good mix with Google translate.
Fashion (clothes/shoes/jewelry/handbags/leather): there are so many places that can make you hand made clothes, shoes, jewelry, handbags, and leather products. Here are some:
— seamstress: there are many shops, or try Miriam: 957-383-230
— jewelry: many places on Petit Thouars avenue. Try Petit Thouars Avenue 5321, interior shop 103. 100 soles for custom made earrings and 200 soles for a custom made necklace.
— handbags, shoes, furniture, and leather repair. Try Luis: 981-025-192
— shoes: Kaleydo shoes has ready to wear but you can also design your own. Carla also speaks some English: 988-027-111
Furniture: can be bought ready made at places like Don Bosco. They can also make customized furniture. Some of highly recommended furniture makers are Casa Rustico (Juan Carlos at 977-188-057), and Tharina Kaspi. Customized furniture is not cheap but you can get what you like and it will be cheaper than in many other countries (U.S., Germany, Australia). You can also get your furniture repaired and refurbished here. I even had a “vintage” plastic poof re-sewn, re-stuffed, and re-polished, by a shoe repairman. He also re-upholstered a footstool and added a leather seat.
Frames: get your photos, awards, diplomas, etc. framed here. There are many, many, shops that frame. A diploma sized goldish frame is about 50 soles ($17).
Metal: it seems like every street has a metal working shop. Every building has a handmade door so, you could get one too. Or get a headboard or staircase made. The only limits are your Spanish skills and patience.
Fabric and yarn: alpaca, llama, and vicuna products are the main shopping item in Peru, but you can find fabric and yarn by the yard in Gamarra, La Victoria. This district is infamous but after the mayor cleaned it up, it is on its way to gentrification. The fabric can still be bought for great prices. A yard/meter of fleece for 6 soles (under $2).
Souvenirs: at Dedalo, Las Pallas, and at the Inka Market/Indian Market/Inka Plaza etc. on Petit Thouars. These stores also sell high end items and ceramics.
Other things: black salt, mangosteen, anyone? I wrote about it somewhere…

Criolla Food in Peru

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Papa rellana ready for frying, above bags of choclo. 

Peru is also a “melting pot” and the Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, Italian immigrations added to this pot. But what did the Peruvians eat before?

The original inhabitants of Peru ate the foods that today are called “criolla” or creole. I think of “queso y choclo” — cheese and corn — when I think of local food. The “queso fresco” or fresh cheese is just that, non-aged cheese so think feta but not salty or sour (which feta should not be, but that’s a whole different discussion.) Some creole dishes are tacu tacu (refried hash), beans, habas (roasted fava bean snack), rice with duck, papa rellena (large stuffed mashed potato croquette), tamales, soups (sopa criolla is a noodle soup with cubed beef and milk), butiffara (a pork sandwich), and anything with an egg on it. Every single restaurant will know how to make a delicious home made soup called “sopa dieta” which is what would be called “Jewish noodle soup” in other places. It’s a soup that can cure all.

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A word about “dare” or “scary” foods. Guinea pig or “cuy” in Peruvian is convenient and easy to raise. A Peruvian told me that traditionally you would only be served a portion — not the whole thing with head frozen in its death scream. Cuy, pronounced “koo-wee” is more common in the mountains. Yes, one can also eat alpaca, llama, vicuna, and other camelids. And, the one that people always seem to “dare” tourists to eat — the suri worm or maggot. Maggots are fatty sources of protein (According to experts, bugs could be the protein of the future). Many cultures eat bugs — crickets, grasshoppers, ants, and so on. But, you don’t have to eat it. Many modern restaurants will serve cuy or llama in a way that you might find more palatable. At Astrid and Gaston’s, the cuy is served as a mini Peking Duck bite. My “word” about scary or dare foods is that you don’t have to eat them. Many Peruvians don’t. There is so much available that is much more delicious.

The weirdest thing I ate in Peru (no, I didn’t eat the maggot) was a vegan “jerky” stick. So odd. I don’t know what was in it, but it wasn’t criolla!

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Peruvian Brothers in DC

The Washington, DC, area has had Peruvian restaurants for years. The newest, stylish duo, are the Peruvian Brothers.

Even during this time of COVID, the Peruvian Brothers still provide a taste of Peru. They have La Cosecha, a food truck, and The Stand. The Peruvian Brothers also have a gofundme link on their page so that you can donate food to front line workers.

Of course, the food is not like in Lima (nor are the prices). But, if you are in the Washington, DC, area and have a hankering for a chicharron sandwich, this will have to do.

 

 

 

May The Odds Be Ever In Your Favor in the Toilet Paper Hunt

Searching for toilet paper in the time of COVID feels a bit like participating in the Hunger Games. Well, only in the U.S. In other places, like Peru, there is plenty of toilet paper. But, then again, I don’t suppose anyone in Lima has stockpiled it quite as much as in some other Internet-famous stories. This hunting for toilet paper has made me think quite a bit about toilets (read this article, if you have also been thinking about toilets). Of course, there is the basic psychological economic angle to this: when the… hits the fan, then at least the purchase of toilet paper is something one can do to take the situation into your own hands, so to speak. 

When I read the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, the hairdressers who populated the earth, used tree leaves as currency. Toilet paper can be dear (a British expression for pricey) and I recall hearing about people using the Sears catalog as toilet paper.

A doodle I did about the worth of toilet paper. This scene actually happened.

If only toilet paper grew on trees. It sort of does, if you’re a cowboy. The Mullein is a plant called “cowboy toilet paper” because that’s what it was used as. 

In many cultures the idea of using toilet paper is odd, even unsanitary. Many places use water (In previous times in the Yemen, they used sand.) either in bidet, hose, scooper, or some other method. In ancient Rome, they used a toilet brush. In modern times, the Japanese toilet is famous for “contactless” cleaning including water, warm air, heated seats, and music. Toilets are one thing that have not evolved much as Bill Gates will tell you

Oddly, the other thing that is hard to find is Tabasco sauce. Maybe everyone is using the Tabasco to wash down their own cooking… and then they need the toilet paper…

Delivery in Lima in the Time of COVID – the List

IMG_5275To make it easier to hunt for those who cannot access Google Docs, here is the list of delivery places in Lima as of May 9, 2020. As always the Google doc is updated daily. This post is “stuck” to the top of the blog as a featured posting and can also be found in the pages sections (I changed the template of the blog — gosh, it’s been what five years or so since I changed my WordPress template — so I thought it was time. Hopefully it’s easier for folks to read some of my previous articles). I have also added the COVID delivery list as a PDF for those who like that style of info: FoodGroceryDeliveryLima-COVID – FoodGroceryDeliveryLima-COVID.

To make it fit on this page, I have deleted the category and location columns. 

NameTypePhone – from PE cellEmail-websiteNotes
Cinthia Adrianzenmasks, gloves, sanitizer987 982 659 verified
Aerospacialmasks943 739 603  
Ainhoasanitizer gel932 561 705  
Farmacia Queensmedication, drugs, sanitary items01 264 3444www.farmaciaqueen.com.pe 
Farmacia Universalmedication, drugs, sanitary items01 417-1800, 982 700 080www.farmaciauniversal.com 
Inkafarmamedication, drugs, sanitary items01 314-2020www.inkafarma.pe 
Mi Farmamedication, drugs, sanitary items01 642-9398, 938 882 441www.farmalisto.com.pe 
Boticas MedFarma Saludmedication, drugs, sanitary items922 398 888www.boticasmedfarmasalud.negocio.site, FB 
Barthel Bakerybread, sandwiches999 705 563 verified, very busy
Capo de Pastapasta and desserts923 015 329 verified
El Cacaotalchocolate937 595 812 verified
Mo Bistromeals986 006 575  
?Asian fusion?987 794 607  
Nutri Store Confiterianuts956 784 365  
Audsy Cateringmeals, empanadas, sandwiches992 760 984eaudsy@yahoo.comverified, 48 hr pre-order
El Fruterofruit juice pulp, fruit etc.987 643 067, 960 778 541 verified
Arandanos del Huertofruit products934 993 717  
Cheese Corner Perucheese936 686 315 verified, min S/200, S/12 fee, pay via bank transfer, 48 hr preorder
Selectos Ibericoscharcuterie939 739 982  
Pizza al Volo (Brian Mollison)pizza984 714 955 verified
Le P’tite Francebread01 342 1565  
Naduhealth food and meals960 765 259  
Don ItaloItalian998 128 448  
Pastas Pinapasta, lasagne, ravioli941 378 379pedidos@pastaspina.com.peverified
Marciano Veganovegan996 282 852  
La Cacerola Gourmetcooked chicken meat920 716 283  
Dona Marthaveggie spirals, fruit, veg914 997 971  
La Principalpasta, desserts995 561 655  
Cafe Monrealcoffee983 277 479www.cafemonreal.com 
Faustaquiche, aji de gallina, desserts, etc.989 496 359  
Naturally Divinespiced oils986 801 082  
Huachanotamal, cheese, pickles, beans, fruit, etc.987 142 858 pay via bank transfer
Glacialwater924 812 105  
Mercabastofruit and vegetables942 000 035  
Osso Carniceriameat01 469 7438, 922 019 328, La Molina +51 987 967 210San Isidro +51 922 019 328www.osso.peWed-Sun 9AM-12noon, S/15 fee
Don Titomeat949 722 371  
Granja del Vallequail eggs996 399 970 100 for S/10
Carniceria Pal Diariomeat981 323 389, 998 264 075www.paldiario.com.peno cash. Min S/100
Serranomeat994 537 137, 965 326 525  
San Fernandochicken and turkey01 219 5600, ext. Surco: 5002, Miraflores, San Isidro, 5003, Barranco 5004, M-S, 9AM-2PM
BioFeriafruit and vegetables999 104 963  
Pescoseafood914 651 233  
Kasani Fishseafood925 941 225  
Surquillofruit and vegetables990 123 602 minimum 20 soles
Mercampofruit and vegetables928 624 119 no cash
La Sanahoriahealth foodBarranco: 913 733 677, Surco: 913 733 367, San Isidro: 913 733 668  
AJEwater, sportade, juice pulp980 493 562, 932 107 925, 993 207 058  
Gallinas Libreseggs – cage free993 477 758 minimum 100 eggs!
Peru Pacificseafood946 541 722, 01 717 9506inbox on Facebook 
Naturally Divinehealth food – coconut oil, flour, jojoba, etc.986 801 082  
Sanuahealth food message on Instagram 
Karin Eco Fishfish from an artisanal fisher woman987 104 168 minimum three bags, pay via BCP, BBVA, and Yape
Amaru Superfoodsdried fruit, stevia, cacao, etc.940 851 444  
Palacio del Pastapasta palaciodelpasta.mitienda.pe 
Jordi Prime Grillmeat and frozen fries955 373 365  
La Parritecameat, pickles, wine, charcoal01 446 2278, 998 918 822www.parriteca.com, Facebook 
Cafe Ecologicocoffee992 687 398  
Agricola Organicosfruit and vegetables992 845 300  
Puku Pukucoffee @nanayperu on Instagram 
Dumancheese999 502 049  
Valle del Rio Chillonfruit and vegetables954 122 645, 945 303 096  
U of Agraria La Molinafruit and vegetables999 308 582  
Agroferias Campesinasfruit and vegetables, seafood delivery@agroferias.com 
Universidad Nacional Agrariafruit, veg, meat, dairy948-022-028 5 day pre-order
Volcan de Frutasfruit and vegetables994 304 459  
Verduleria Verafruit and vegetables995 738 887  
Carniceria Sumas Aychameat999 694 971  
Donna y Maribelchicken952 508 545 verified
De Mercado Verduras y frutasfruit and vegetables993 372 039  
Fresh Martonline store934 109 650www.freshmart.pe 
Pescaderia Rositafish980 758 562  
Food Cofruit and vegetables914 395 793, 942 369 084pedidos@foodco.peVerified
Expat Shoplentils, etc. www.expatshop.peAviv Hemant
Ivan Pugaseafood974 531 053 Verified
Avícola Gloriacorn fed eggs994-113-514 Tues and Wed
Avinkachicken01 615-3770 / 965-396-725avinka.riqra.comOrder 9 – 2
Del Mercadogroceries993-372-039  
Don Torcuatogroceries962-962-952don_torcuato3@hotmail.com 
Franvivefruit and vegetables965-394-546 / 998-134-143 minimum S/100
Fruta al Díafruit www.frutaldia.com.pe 
Lima Orgánicaorganic951-125-106pedidos@limaorganica.pe / www.limaorganica.pe. 
Mercadilloorganic www.mercadillo.pe. 
Nanaygroceries-eggs-vegan Fb: nanaype / Ig: nanayperu. 
Organic Expressorganic910-901-524  
Sana Saludable y Naturalorganic991-072-866@sana_synperu.T, Th, F delivery
Sprout Housesprouts936-605-482@sprout.house.pe.Sat and Sun only. S/30 minimum
Todo Frescofruit and vegetables981-594-764 M-S, S/100 minimum
Tu Chacritagroceries www.tuchacrita.pe. 
Tu Mercadogroceries www.tumercadoperu.com 
Vacas Felicesdairy and organic www.vacasfelices.com 
Zu Canastagroceries www.zucanasta.comverified, excellent veggies, no new clients
Verduras Erickfruit, veg, cleaning products993 689 003 One day pre-order, 50 sol minimum
Bodega Thiaguitofruit and vegetables998 911 199  
Tienda Valentinagroceries01 372 9349  
Bodega Edithgroceries01 275 0555  
Del Eden de Av. Primaveragroceries934 572 804 cash or yape
Andean Pacific Foodsseafood966 555 459 verified
Bodega Barrancogroceries01 477 9149  
La Calandriagroceries941-368-345www.facebook.com/lacalandriabarranco 
D’Manu Gourmetpreserves and sauces98-374-296@dmanugourmet.Thu-Sat delivery
Misha Rastrerakefir, kombucha, eco personal hygiene924-713-062www.facebook.com/misharastrera / www.misharastrera.com.Delivery los martes y viernes de 10:00 a 16:00 horas
Punto Orgánicoorganic fruit, veg, and products989-043-427.www.puntoorganico.com24 hrs notice for orders
Thaniyayfruit butters, keto958-344-860@thaniyayperu.8 soles for delivery
Bodega Arakakigroceries01 445-6078. zona Enrique Palacios street
Bodega El Paisagroceries926-680-450. Zona Tomás Marsano cuadra 17
Bodega Elizabethgroceries999-927-459 / 435-3709  
Bodega Kunimongroceries01 253-6146 Zona Juan G. Moore
Bodega Tantaleángroceries01 242-2019.  
Bodega Edgardgroceries996-350-584. Zona Av. Angamos Oeste con Av. Comandante Espinar
Cosecha2GOfruit and vegetables979-281-980  
Frutería Robert, Mercado de Santa Cruzfruit and vegetables983-467-985  
Frutero Javier de Mercado Mendiburufruit and vegetables956-784-365  
Jet Marketgroceries937-264-756 / 934-890-462 8:30am to 5pm
Manuel Mercado Mendiburumeat992-694-971  
Punto Gourmetgroceries01 273-8264 Zona Simón Salguero. Hacen reparto solo por las mañanas.
Quillari Marketgroceries962-284-873 Zona Mendiburu
Thika Thanigroceries987-448-914  
Tienda Minimarketgroceries01 241-5999 Zona Parque Tradiciones
Bodega 3B Marketgroceries01 396-1374 Zona Calle Las Rosas, La Molina Vieja
Bodega Rinconada del Lagogroceries01 368-2406  
La Esquina. Zona Las Lagunas: Pedidos: 479-0842.groceries01 479-0842 Zona Las Lagunas
Market Donnagroceries01 479-2358  
Todo Frescogroceries981-594-764 Mon-Sat. S/100 minimum. Fee S/ 5 y S/ 10
Sra Enedina de la Bío Feria de La Molinachicken, eggs, fruit, veg958-982-488  
Willi Marketgroceries01 368-1768 / 01 479-1037 / 01 364-5234 / 01 364-5231 Zona El Sol de La Molina
Bazar Luisagroceries949-638-931 Zona Pezet
Bodega Arakakigroceries01 241-6882 Zona Belén 265
Bodega Sebasgroceries01 422-3109 / 997-767-504 Zona cuadra 39 Av. Petit Thouars
Jet Marketgroceries937-264-756 8-5:30. Zonas Los Laureles, Canaval y Moreyra 305, Juan de Arona 777
La Gorditagroceries01 221-8378 / 01 440-6108 Zona Choquehuanca, El Olivar
Bodega Yulligroceries01 224-4218 Zona San Borja Norte
Bodega Ojedagroceries01 358-7990 Zona Las Artes Norte
Bodega Óscarmeat, fruit, veg986-213-330 One day pre-order
Bodega Elizabethgroceries999-927-459 / 01 435-3709 Zona San Luis
Bodega Erickgroceries993-689-003  
Bodega Flores Génesisgroceries989-496-322  
Frutería Lizfruit997-921-248  
Market Comercial Bayletigroceries960-991-919.  
Tienda Silviagroceries902-065-327  
Tu Caseritogroceries920-716-524 / 995-798-600  
Bodega Elizabethgroceries999-927-459 / 01 435-3709  
Bodega Jhomargroceries967-703-415 Solo en Surco por Ricardo Palma y Roca y Boloña
Minimarket Paquitagroceries01 344-3339 / 01 344-4964 / 01 344-3232  
Señor Víctor del Mercado de Surcogroceries998-380-078  
Super Pet Perupet food Instagram @superpet_pe 
Groomerspet foodMiraflores: 01 715 5454, San Borja: 01 713 0707  
Rambala Barfpet food970 356 974  
Aromapanbread925 532 917  
Bodega Tres Chanchitosgroceries01 368-4564, 01 479-2965, 943 530 897  
Bodega Isabelitagroceries991 779 911, 995 859 557 zona santa catalina
Bodega El Brothergroceries01 226-1478  
Balernomeat949 444 234, 983 514 059facebook.com/BalernoPeru 
Buen Fuegomeat982 592 384  
Del Gordo – Carnes Premiummeat920 252 114inbox on Facebook 
La Charcuteria de Limameat998 108 452www.lacharcuteriadelima.com48hr preorder, min S/100, delivery S/15
Meat Festmeat986 832 861www.meatfest.pe, FBUSDA connection
Prime Meatsmeat980 712 396Facebook 
Animal Revolution Perupet food01 692 6024Facebookverified
Full Familypet food970 786 523, 01 304 0585Facebookverified
Rambala Barfpet food970 356 974 verified
Cerdenadeli, cheese, etc.913 048 042delivery@ti.cay.com, www.cerdenaembutidos.com 
Quesos Lait’s Tacnenodeli, cheese, etc.993 570 160 S/30 min
Zimmermanndeli, cheese, etc.998 141 731www.embutidoszimmermann.com 
Bayas Peruanasfruit and vegetables970 947 621@bayasperuanasOnly Mon, Wed, S/10 fee
Canasta Food Cofruit and vegetables914 395 793, 942 369 084  
Del Mercadofruit and vegetables993 372 039  
El Chasquipefruit and vegetables924 614 153, 936 281 426 24 hr preorder
Organic Foodfruit and vegetables982 033 898, 997 977 277  
Rideliveryfruit and vegetables943 642 587FB 
Verduleria Petty (Mercado El Eden)fruit and vegetables965 425 493  
La Verduleriafruit and vegetables917 344 140  
Los Castilla Marketminimarket924 899 591  
Market Comercial Bayletiminimarket960 991 919  
Market Donnaminimarket01 479 2358  
Tienda Minimarket eUsminimarket01 241-5999 zona Parque Tradiciones
Flora y Faunaorganic986 915 313, 934 599 647, 940 414 018  
ICI Lab Gourmetbread998 103 181  
Masana Panaderia Artesanal & Saludablebread993 857 210  
Panaderia Ecologica Alemana Los 7 Enanosbread915 116 657  
La Morabread940 230 042, 994 318 908, 914 891 313, 945 775 493 Min S/30, S/10 fee, 48 hr preorder
Eco Fishseafood987 104 168  
Kalkalseafood998 284 655 depends on catch of the day
Osthias Pescados y Mariscosseafood943 597 369 free delivery if over S/70
Pescoseafood914 651 233  
Avicola Gloriaeggs, corn fed994 113 514 Tue and Wed only
Avicola Hermanas Tapiachicken, turkey, duck, veg, meat01 273 0430, 947 230 966 Min S/50
La Gallinita de Corraleggs, meat, poultry, pork994 034 030, 991 898 554  
Senora Enedina (de la Bio Feria La Molinachicken, eggs, fruit, veg958 982 488  
Porthos Prime Foodribs955 479 881  
Manuel Casssanovaoyster mushrooms993 993 689 verified, S/15 kilo
Laivedairy01 0800 15248, 914 164 000  
Rebcca Blueberryberries, fruit911 101 155 verified
Olivamolive oil982 055 881  
Masas Salvajebread933 790 881 verified
FloralPcheese999 192 602  
Mercado de Santa Cruzfruit and vegetables, meat, chicken, fish01 422-9045, 932 393 390  
Fruteria Felifruit and vegetables987 497 809 fee outside Lobaton area
Morning Coffeecoffee987 540 673  
Lait’scheese, butter, dulce de leche993 570 160 minimum S/30
Bioimex Peruseafood936 741 959  
InmersoBBQ971 285 608inmersoperu@gmail.com 
Fressongroceries984 299 277  
Flavor Fusion Detox y Padmaessentials952 758 625  
PesCoseafood – fresh caught914 651 233  
Rikcharicoffee999 582 587  
Lacteos Conga Perudairy949 714 483  
Piscislake trout989 211 465@piscis_peverified, M-F, 8-3
La RosettabakeryLa Molina: 936 327 010, Miraflores: 993 194 547  
D’Onofriaice creamSurco: 930 691 159, San Miguel 999 220 693, San Borja 999 604 185, San Isidro/Miraflores: 977 198 425, Surquillo 991 980 588  
Amarellymasks933 010 725  
Venevamasks996 173 772  
Ecocampoeggs@ Instagram  
Meche Correamasks pedidosmechecorrea@gmail.com 
Impotacions GMVrubbing alcohol992 474 307, 981 259 788 only bulk to Lima
Cafe del Fundocoffee @cafedelfundo.pe 
Bloom Tostadorescoffee @bloom.tostadores 
Neira Cafe Labcoffee @neiracafelab 
Cappuccetto Perucoffee @cappuccettoperu 
Narela Cafecoffee @narelacafe 
Cafe Maldonadocoffee @cafemaldonado 
Muju Coffee Roasterscoffee @muju_coffee_roasters 
Dark Wing Coffeecoffee @darkwingcoffee 
Finca Tastacoffee Inbox on Instagram 
Master Coffeecoffee Inbox on Instagram 
Cafe Negrocoffee Inbox on Instagram 
Pueblo Coffeecoffee Inbox on Instagram 
Coffee Hunters Perucoffee Inbox on Instagram 
Cafe Compadrecoffee Inbox on Instagram 
Finca Don Salazarcoffee Inbox on Instagram 
Don Guto Cafecoffee Inbox on Instagram 
Fundo Santa Teresitacoffee Inbox on Instagram 
NAmasks, alcohol, gloves964 303 258  
Casa Gourmetbakery998 163 785, 981 022 572, 998 174 296  
Frosacseafood987 790 708  
Corporaction Lichamasks Inbox on Instagram 
Ecologic Perufruit and veg @ecologic_peru 
Dual Hogarcleaning products Inbox on Instagram 
Limpieza Es Facilcleaning products Inbox on Instagram 
La America Cafebakery Inbox on Instagram 
Pa’ Tu Casafruit and veg983 596 245, 983 527 051  
La Molina Marketgroceries950 281 160  
Enrique Tomas Peruproscuitto992 466 006  
?eggs943 688 738  
Boticas Santa Fepharmacy980 896 301  
Cafeteinacoffee924 886 011  
Del Fundo (Manina Carmona)mandarins, palta997 551 205  
Pratolacoffee Inbox on Instagram 
Houssy Perumouthwash998 633 524  
Vimaantbuilding cleaning Inbox on Instagram 
Cafe Link Perucoffee Inbox on Instagram 
Go Petpet food944 445 467  
Qamir Fruitfruit and veg941 382 000, 922 386 721  
Mi Bodeguita 231groceries inbox on facebookverified
Maranatha Fishseafood942 370 042  
La Vaca Locasteak998 371 342  
Lakshmi Casa Organicaorganic   
Samacaorganic   
Naturlandiatofu, beans, etc.   
Ande Barorganic   
Pecaditos Integralesorganic991 970 806  
Pesco Pescaderiafish914 651 233  
Amazona Chocolateschocolate944 952 227  
Mascarilla Eirlmasks inbox on Instagram 
Delivery San Borjagroceries950 281 160  
Procesos Industriales GMVrubbing alcohol992 474 307, 981 259 788  
Abbas Dellyfruit and veg988 184 902  
Ventas de Verduras y Frutasfruit and veg Inbox on Instagram 
Montreal Bagelbagels968 968 876  
Jordimeat946 483 610, 994 269 020ventas1.jordi@gmail.com 
Beans Fruit Drybeans, fruit987 823 444  
La Choza Nautica Brenafruit and veg936 663 475  
Winebox.Pewine winebox.peverified!!
Nipa Korthari IndianIndian food993 523 921 verified
Textiles Espinozamasks948 079 240 verified
CBFmasks990 001 146  
Sercomedmasks920 259 867, 966 423 059  
Mercado 365 Perufruit and veg infomercardo365@gmail.com 
Scrapyartmasks, soap, gloves, alcohol982 878 609  
Feel Organicmasks inbox o Instagram 
El Huerto Agroecologicofruit and veg999 308 582huerto01@lamolina.edu.pe 
Project Pietamasks Inbox on Instagram 
RecytexmasksDaniel 991 204 073, Rosalita 991 200 619dguerra@ctrycytec.com, rcoastales@ctrecytex.com 
Rico Pet Sacpet food900 952 263  
Finexmasks9335 599 399  
Piruw Naturalhoney Inbox on Instagram 
Palta Fuerte Organicaavocado955 093 368  
Champinoes Frescosmushrooms999 094 111  
Casa Blanca Homemasks923 100 565  
Verde Purofruit and veg centraldepedidos@vermisac.com 
LK Importacionesmasks KN95981 521 564  
Alcohol 96 Perurubbing alcohol933 901 540  
Fausta Mila Cafecoffee989 176 739  
Selectos Ibericosbakery939 739 892  
Tealistotulistagroceries972 039 516  
Crea Pais Perumasks998 785 557creapais@hotmail.com 
Andean Bitesgluten free, vegetarian snacks913 034 105  
Invitalofruit and veg978 365 482, 995 820 164 Less then 24 hrs for delivery!
La Huerta Organicafruit and veg Inbox on Instagram 
Cappucino Cuscocoffee Inbox on Instagram 
Natural Homepet food935 219 644  
Pan de la Cholabakery992 126 980 verified
Anticapizza951 904 870  
San Fernandopoultry960 587 331  
Organica Carbon de Cococharcoal981 472 936  
Bodeboca Bruzzolasagna, platters, Italian999 662 477  
Fruta Verdura Deliveryfruit and veg991 690 814  
Rayito Print Perumasks966 635 440, 923 176 021  
Conciencachocolate970 306 585 verified
Gina Moraleswine948 029 719 verified
La Terrazalomo saltado, etc.942 895 461 24 hour pre-order
La Bodegawine, beer, pisco, groceries912 002 407, 981 293 010  
Gate Gourmetgroceries www.gateperu.com 
Proflimsaindustrial cleaning989 538 821  
Carbon Ecologicocharcoal981 472 936  
La Casita Honey  @lacasitahoney 
Teas Organicocoffee923 470 649  
Mattonimeals924 066 643administracion@mattoni.com.pe, IG, FBmin S/50, delivery fee
Servi Casa Perubakery @ Instagram 
Bandrabread, fruit, veg972 593 603, 958 062 733frankbimjani@bandra.pemin S/50
Lomo de Resmeat960 703 092, 979 257 175 verified! minimum purchase
Panicomiobread967 338 429 verified!!
Sorayachicken, fruit, veg987 030 561  
Maria Alejandrawine999 213 314 verified
Cymed Medicalmasks inbox on Instagram 
165Logisticsmasks981 510 662, 933 523 369ventas@165logistics 
Green Freshfruit and veg inbox on Instagram 
Hong Kong MarketAsian specialities inbox on Instagram – via platanitos 
Taylor Briomontefruit and veg950 581 082inbox on Instagram 
Filo Carnesmeat953 723 353  
Orquidea Chocolatechocolate947 351 564, 951 492 572inbox on IG and FB 
Oriente FoodVenezuelan tequenos inbox on IG 
Enriquechickens and eggs980 781 057  
La Fidelia 924 575 008store.lafidelia.pe, inbox on IG and FB 
Claudia Palacioscakes994 272 358  
Crunch It Perugranola, nuts, dried fruit947 080 729  
Caseritagroceries976 338 870  
Sumaqchafruit and veg998 337 070 min S/50, fee S/5, delivery 3-5 pm
Verde Natural Marketorganic942 162 596  
Days Perugloves inbox on IG, daysperu.com 
Quimachi Snacks  inbox on IG 
Health Care Shop PEsanitizer gel inbox on IG 
Interfoods TSmeat inbox on IG 
Mueble VMpurified water system931 900 438inbox on IG 
La Cabrita Quesocheese987 530 794lacabritaproductos@gmail.com, lacabrita_09@yahoo.es, on FB @lacabritaquesosdecabra 
La Fabrica – Mobile Pizzapizza980 735 264  
Unknownmasks940 205 120, 997 296 786  
Pharmivetpet pharmacy www.pharmivet.pe 
Alexandra Dammertmasks998 106 183 verified
La SalteneriaBolivian empanadas/saltenas997 108 496 verified
Chacra Verdefruit and veg Inbox on Instagram 
Panicorp Bakerybread Inbox on Instagram 
Magna Premiumcharcoal Inbox on Instagram 
Duman Quesosdairy, and pizza999 502 049Inbox on Facebook 
Felines Swimwear Perumasks946 622 285Inbox on FB and IG 
Wall Marketgroceries, drinks994 845 699  
Celin Aylin, La Fruteriafruit and veg – frozen983 550 063  
Rebo Foodsfruit and veg989 112 286, 992 962 748  
Bon Beefmeals www.bonbeef.com, inbox on FB 
Bodega Carelgroceries, drinks973 797 373, 920 419 796  
El Parrillon de Pablo ProfumoUruguayan beef998 197 619www.elparrillon.com 
La Bondiola Sangucheriasandwiches Inbox on IG 
D’Tinto & Burgersburger meat946 409 789, 987 268 430Inbox on IG 
El Pan de la Cholabread, flour993 126 980www.elpandelachola.comverified
Barra Alquimiacake980 577 430 verified
El Fruterofrozen fruit960 778 541, 941 526 338, 941 676 601, 987 643 067pedidos1@elfrutero.pe 
Fresh Food Limafruit and veg997 889 121, 993 751 251Facebook 
Come Cerdo Come Sanopork inbox on IG and FB 
Grupo AngloMedmasks928 003 285ventas@grupoanglomed.com 
Amkha Marketfruit and veg inbox on Instagram 
Trigalbakery and bakery supplies997 466 231, 994 328 461 S/50 min, S/10 fee
El Granero de Lima 942 160 182  
The Pharmacy Labhealthy food992 761 894inbox on Instagram 
Salud 360masks972 207 666inbox on Instagram 
Limpia Como Mamadeep cleaning inbox on Instagram and Facebook 
Protector Facialplastic face masks992 777 067  
Nina and Sisatransportation services959 021 686  
Delivery Segurotransportation services947 314 821  
El Peque DLCpork956 739 379  
El Huerto Ecomarketgroceries997 716 904  
Aromas del ValleCoffee955-130-909www.aromasdelvalle.com, contacto@aromasdelvalle.com 
Alfogo Angusmeat997-152-521  
Berries del Peruberries01 448-1414pedidos@berriesdelperu.com, on Facebook 
Market Circologroceries978-371-872 24 hr preorder, transport fee
Sr. Choque en el Mercado de Huirachochachicken995-213-888  
Sr. Víctor en el Mercado de Huirachochachicken931-029-239  
Sra. Roxana en el Mercado de Huirachochafruit and veg998-116-505  
Frutería Felifruit and veg987-497-809  
Bodega Teresadried fruit985-895-894  
Ally Embutidos Saludablesgroceries922-337-858  
Avícola Poolchicken and eggs984-764-999 free delivery, one day pre-order
Avícola Tonychicken and eggs955-172-816  
Café A Markethamburger, bacon, buns, etc. FB Café A Market 
De Huacho 554Salchicha huachana, jamón del país, chicharrón de prensa, frutas, menestras987-142-858 min S/30
Gastón y Ottocured meats www.gastonyotto.com 
GourMeat Perú.meat996-826-324 24 to 48 hr pre-order
Huevos de Codorniz Sra. Yuliquail eggs902-245-254 (only text. No Whatsapp)  
La Carnisseriameat998-158-725 free delivery with S/100 purchase
Mama Olgafree range eggs994-019-454  
Oregon Foodsbeef, groceries, charcoalSan Isidro +51 421 9148, La Molina +51 479 0833, Casuarinas +51 237 5173, Barranco +51605 6416Inbox on FB and IGmin S/500
Panutssausage, hotdogs, ham www.panuts.com 
Tomodachiramen, sushi, Japanese01 370 6119, 950 304 507 bank and cash
Pato Señor Dionisioduck963-171-981 / 974-651-282edes @granjaricopato / ricopato@gmail.comBCP and cash
Pollo Frescochicken910-605-173  
Todo Parrillameat, charcoal991-160-545  
Berries Alyssolberries980-822-672 min S/50 and delivery fee
Casa Verdefruit and veg993-887-145 mínimo S/ 80
Citrus VendingValencia oranges and orange juice www.guguich.pe / @jugozdelcampoalvaso 
Cr Transportshopper service922-488-245 / 944-600-229 / 927-443-406  
Del Fundo a Tu Mesafruit, veg, olive oil951-291-565  
Deli Frutasfruit and veg980-548-416 delivery S/ 10 y pedido mínimo S/ 80
Dimercfruit and veg917-899-123 mínimo S/ 100 soles y delivery S/ 10.63
Distribuidora Limónfruit and veg992-831-361  
El Alameinasparagus and olive oil994-612-894  
Enhegroceries924-544-774  
Fresh a Tu Puertafruit and veg951-566-510  
Fruta y Verdura Deliveryfruit and veg991-690-814 min S/65
F&L Fruteríafruit and veg942-358-331  
Hacienda El Carmelo de Virúcheese, oil, olives, etc.998-344-079  
La Chacra Deliveryfruit and veg938-359-166 mínimo S/ 110
Paqu jayaoils, spices915-156-465 / 944-510-014  
Punto Naturalfruit923-610-468  
Súper NikkeiJapanese products954-621-553 mínimo: S/ 200
Súper Shopfruit and veg www.supershopperu.com 
Agroindustria Ibsacheese, etc.991-443-155.  
Cayetano Expresscheese, etc.956-640-214 / 994-210-102 mínimo S/ 50, delivery gratuito
Lácteos Piamontecheese, etc.992-096-057  
Productos Lácteos D’Yumacheese, etc.983-231-946  
Proveeduría Leche Fresca 920-567-706, in Barranco: 01 477-3364  
Quesos Lait´s Tacneño 993-570-160 delivery fee
Yogurt Damattayogurt, granola, honey985-484-914  
Angobakery01 440-0639 24 hr pre-order
El Perro Panbakery940-569-111  
En Boca de Todosbakery990-738-451 delivery fee
Panadería Carmelitasbakery959-176-479  
Pastipanbakery981-043-829 72 hr pre-order
Wilton’sbakery964-579-963 mínimo de S/ 30
Demarseafood934-645-680 min 2 kilos
Frozen Products Corporationseafood934-645-064 mínimo de S/ 100 soles y costo de delivery S/ 20
Sushi by Nozscallops/conchas986-003-874 mínima un kilo
Pueblo Café por Ricardo Roblescoffee984-332-227  
Cortebeef965 729 800 USDA connection
Carnicorpbeef and pork933 821 328pedidos.carnicorp@gmail.comUSDA connection
Razzetobeef and pork948 317 157 USDA connection
Maria Reneechocolate992 061 446  
Tupuestitofruit and veg Inbox on Instagram 
NYJ Perumasks (and cloth head coverings)958 688 198, 956 726 894Inbox on Instagram 
Kioski Pasteleriacake Inbox on Instagram 
El Colmenarhoney, pollen, carob syrup (algorrabina)996 579 063, 988 002 450, 998 245 770Inbox on Instagram 
GNS Empresarial – Andre Morianodeep cleaning961 758 615Inbox on Instagram 
La America Cafemeals Inbox on Instagram 
Kent Peruwater987 808 472  
OraSi Perusoy, rice, almond milks Inbox on IG and FB 
Jiron Sanguchesandwiches, tacos, enchiladas01 746 8696  
Nippon Accessoriesmask carrier Inbox on Instagram 
Paltas Chirimoyasavocados987 604 364  
Mercadito Perufruit and veg994 663 376 (Debbie)  
Enkai Cocina NikkeiJapanese Nikkei01 550 6858www.enkai.pe, @chefmasaki14 
La Canasta de Yi Changgroceries @lacanasta.yichang 
Cosecha Verdefruit and veg Inbox on Instagram 
Praia Bravamasks praiabravacollections.com 
Rayito Print Perumasks966 635 440, 923 176 021  
Mystika Tienda Saludable 992 761 894  
Entre Perros y Gatospet food946 567 837  
Panalza Perutransportation services01 653 2787Inbox on Instagram 
Mi Gran Combolomo saltado, etc.985 404 636, 01 309 7979  
Tarta Maniadesserts, cakes Inbox on Facebook 
Pilsen Callaobeer979 734 003  
Toda Parilla del Coloraobeef, pork991 160 545 24 hr preorder, min S/150
Palta Hassavocado960 622 605, Surco: 986 761 661  
La Cafetta Expressgroceries967 705 388, 930 508 955, 955 171 592  
Living Home Perupasta, gluten free pasta www.livinghome.pe 
Tortilla de Papa Perutortilla espanola998 114 603Inbox on Instagram 
Aloramask boxes924 566 300  
La Verduleriafruit and vegetables978 336 197  
Panakuna Expressgroceries934 886 872Inbox on Instagram 
Dazzo Marketgroceries983 575 985Inbox on Instagram 
Tio Papassalchipapas, etc.943 492 907Inbox on Instagram 
Muyfreshkitosgroceries935 825 136  
Delivery Verduras y Frutasfruit and vegetables922 154 297, 970 792 593  
La Huerta Limafruit and vegetables Inbox on Instagram 
Montini Pizzapizza989 204 475Inbox on Instagram 
Qhatupersonal shopping service957 254 981  
MDLabmasks983 466 419  
TocTocEnviostransportation services947 749 866  
Super Pollochicken991 480 025, 986 611 485  
Not Perumasks Inbox on Instagram 
MSC Homefoot activated door opener, sanitizing station01 715 0603, 948 055 969ventas@sfhnos.com 
Delivery Expresspersonal shopping service994 007 441  
Brewdogbeer972 826 204, 958 192 425  
Al Tavolopizza Inbox on Instagram 
Yupigopersonal shopping service Inbox on Instagram 
La Cocina de Luiscocina criolla997 632 119 S/5 fee
Mafasil Deliverygroceries962 118 337  
JolamafarCOVID kits: masks, mask holder, gloves, disinfectant, etc.946 390 750, 965 750 066Inbox on Instagram, ventas.jolamafar@gmail.com 
Rafaella Clothingmasks Inbox on Instagram 
Servio Mercadopersonal shopping service944 986 598  
Goo Pricesfruit and vegetables Inbox on Instagram 
Vide Verde Perufruit and vegetables Inbox on Instagram 
Comsatel Perucleaning Inbox on Instagram 
Koketamasks Inbox on Instagram 
D’floritasoap986 844 794Inbox on Instagram 
Go Petpet food Inbox on Instagram 
Sami Productos Naturaleshoney Inbox on Instagram 
Feel Organiccotton Inbox on Instagram 
ValFruit Deliveryfruit and vegetables938 543 761  
Core Lima Cafesandwiches, etc. corelimacafe.com, Inbox on Instagram 
Eolis Air Peruair purifier994 212 167excellencemedical.pe, 
Lulucitymasks946 109 920Inbox on Instagram 
Fullen Perufork lift transportation www.fullen.pe 
Master Cleancleaning994 313 983Inbox on Instagram 
Safety Medmasks, glasses, shoe coverings, etc.993 534 599Inbox on Instagram 
2bornotobemasks with designs990 888 775Inbox on Instagram and Facebook 
Pedi.2slimes Inbox on Instagram 
Clean House Desinfeccionescleaning922 236 664Inbox on Instagram 
Drogueria GYPmasks Inbox on Instagram 
Ecocampo Perueggs ecocampo.pe 
Makis by Betosushi982 660 428makisbybeto.com, inbox on IG 
MiaValencia19masks936 956 889, 930 470 045  
Vimaantdisinfection products977 249 806administracion@vimaant.com 
Pasta Perupasta, groceries pasta.pe 
Fuego y Brasa perupollo a la brasa940 477 146  
Ibericos Goldwine and oil933 908 899  
Paletas Factoryice cream913 033 358  
Sra Diaz Cateringmeals956 599 382diazhomefood@gmail.commin 6 people, mother’s day specials
Dulce Finadesserts, cakes966 295 915  
Artesanta Tienda Virtualsoap, beauty products Inbox on Facebook 
Huella Verdeboxes983 535 231  
Paqari Yanablank books, journals Inbox on Facebook 
Champisolmushrooms999 094 111  
Julieta Gongoracorn tortila strips992 248 890  
Flores dia de la madreflowers971 377 631  
Orchidsflowers979 257 175, 960 703 092  
Palachinke Perupancakes Inbox on Instagram and Facebook 
Cafe de Limabread, empanadas, lasagna01 221 2513  
7G Gourmetfrozen fish, wine, groceries915 124 839@77gourmet 
Caserofruit and vegetables928 242 080  
Yllafrozen fruit987 827 541  
Neo Visioneye doctor, glasses, lenses975 035 993  
Caseritafruit and vegetables Inbox on Instagram 
Neve de Latte Gelateriaice cream940 861 628  
RomiPack Peruplastic bags994 013 626, 997 538 033, 998 818 009informes@romipack.pe 
Magaly Wenzelvet and dental cleaning for pets993 452 829 verified
Manuel Colsvet959 189 949 verified, speaks English
Yapa Expressfruit and vegetables963 694 779  
Bake Studiocake, desserts, pizza bases955 082 211  
Fleischmannyeast986 118 901 verified
Fleischmann Surcoyeast902 344 910  
Days Perushoe coverings Inbox on Instagram 
Ico Food Servicecheese, sausage, etc. www.ico.com.pemin S/100
Trigalbakery, baking ingredients Inbox on Instagram 
Frex Boxdried fruit987 220 187Inbox on Instagram 
El Buen Gustobakery, sandwiches946 244 168ventas@elbuenguesto.com.pe24 pre-order, min S/30, fee S/10
Ammameals Inbox on Instagram 
Cosmemeals cosme.com.pe, @cosme 
Staterameals Inbox on Instagram 
DARpita, hummus, dips, chips956 486 633  
Zokya Cafecoffee955 235 669  
Sercomedmedical supplies920 259 867, 966 423 059  
Salud 360medical972 297 666  
Normativamasks977 360 749  
Seafrostseafood914 681 205, 914 681 204, 962 203 109, 944 251 900 min S/120
Fonzarelli Perusauces, salsas987 708 382  
Agustos Marketsandwiches, groceries, fruit, pasta, etc937 288 233, 01 772 3830  
Kase Gourmetlasagna999 602 358Inbox on Instagram and Facebookdelivery fee
Laurie Pujaltground pepper www.laurie-pujalt.com 
Mikhuna Alimentospersonal shopping service968 200 588  
Papel Higienico Goodpaper hand towels01 429 6855, 998 377 292, 981 314 346www.PapelHigienicoGood.com, ventas@papelhigienicogood.com 
Bici Entregaspersonal shopping service923 487 696  
Elas Foodbuffalo wings, burgers, wine, etc.942 348 493 verified
Mascarilla Eirlmasks, gel, alcohol Inbox on Instagram 
Don Tomy Pasteleriabakery Inbox on Instagram 
Cieptacmental health counseling933 699 193, 01 288 3185  
Rai Peruspices Inbox on Instagram 
Angus Expressbeef, chicken wings Inbox on Instagram 
Pidealgoonline shop Inbox on Instagram 
Punta Gourmetcheese, etc. Inbox on Instagram 
Super Bid Perufinancial investment services Inbox on Instagram 
Despensallenabeef, flour, bananas, etc. Inbox on Instagram 
Scrapyartmasks, gel, alcohol, eye proctection www.scrapyart.pe 
Verde Natural Marketfruit and vegetables Inbox on Instagram 
Mr. Bar Deliverybeer, wine, spirits Inbox on Instagram 
Fishbox Peruseafood990 061 686Inbox on Instagram 
Hoof Meatsbeef Inbox on Instagram 
Munay Compostcomposting993 597 514helene@munaycompost.com 
Taglio Perupizza994 229 741Inbox on Instagram 
El Borregopollo a la brasa, cuy, pachamanca992 826 708  
El Rincon de los Saboresal cilindro, pollo, chancho986 029 856, 960 717 980, 960 358 182  
Best Packaging Perubottles, etc. Inbox on Instagram 
Tecnicas en Linea Blancawashing machine repair929 129 134info@tecnicasenlineablancalima.com 
Tool Celularcell phone repair931 150 305Inbox on Instagram and Facebook 
Lynch Cafe para Volarpasta, cake978 800 039  
Corsun Biobiodegradable clamshell packs01 440 4191, 998 171 892  
La Costanerapollo a la brasa, cuy, pachamanca999 933 355, 953 277 899www.lacostanera.com.pe 
La Casa Mari Mielhoney Inbox on Instagram 
Azafran Restaurantmeals978 997 042, 992 248 018Inbox on Instagram 
Niubiz Peruonline banking Inbox on Instagram 
Worx Cobusiness service Inbox on Instagram 
Derma Farma Peruskin care Inbox on Instagram 
Doggy Campdog camp, pet service999 055 841Inbox on Instagram 
La Central Huaralmeals Inbox on Instagram 
TeleOpticsglasses, eyeware, contact lenses,920 196 277Inbox on Instagram 
Aroma Panbakery Inbox on Instagram 
Giannichicken997 095 179  
Rosatelflowers Inbox on Instagram 
Wabi Casashopping service Inbox on Instagram 
Kninopet food944 574 353Inbox on Instagram 
Entel Empresascell phone services Inbox on Instagram 
Verisure Perusecurity Inbox on Instagram 
Reneq777cleaning993 728 552  
Callers Clubcall center services Inbox on Instagram 
Clinica Antonio Raimondihealthcare www.clinicaraimondi.com 
Taberna Pueblo Viejochichorrones, tamales, sandwiches986 853 267  
Ma Gracia Farfanmasks987 833 079 verified
Delizia Artfood photography Inbox on Instagram 
La Curacao Perutransportation services Inbox on Instagram 
Melina Bertocchiwine, champagne984 108 774  
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
Disclaimer: this list is a compilation from El Trinche, Google, Instagram, Facebook, and personal references. It does not represent the endorsement of any government or official entity.

Laughter in the Time of COVID-19

In this time of quarantine, I’ve been trawling the web for funny memes (the first one may be me after a few weeks of teleworking). I include some clean ones (not sure you have enough toilet paper for the filthy ones…) here for your comic relief (I think my favorite comment so far is about the “enthusiast”). Some are thought provoking and some are just what caught my eye.

One thing I have learned from these past few days: humanity can be heartwarming at times.

 

And that Spock was right.

Markets of Lima… and Then There is Minka

I know someone whose hobby is photographing markets. In Lima, there are essentially four types of markets: wholesale food markets, local grocery markets, eco- or bio- markets (farmers), and previous “informal” markets (black market).

Wholesale markets

Santa Anita wholesale market in Ate is the source of all produce sold at the other markets in Lima. I was sure I had blogged about it but it was only in my mind. Santa Anita is about 25 minutes out side of Miraflores on a weekend. I describe it as 24 airplane hangars of produce. The prices are great if you need bulk (50 kilos of limes), but it’s not worth it if you are just shopping for personal use. Nonetheless, I’ve enjoyed visiting several times.

The fish market, Pescado Terminal, is the source of all fish and seafood sold in other markets and stores in Lima.

Gamarra is the textile market. Fabric at stores in San Borja can cost around 30-90 soles per meter whereas in Gamarra that same fabric will cost 6-16 soles per meter. Gamarra is also know for it’s “informal” part (they just got raided recently).

Informal Markets (but now with legal items as well like custom made cell phone covers)

Polvos Azules is the formerly known are for knock off goods and other “informal” goods. Halfway to downtown.

Polvos Rosados is the electronics and other goods market also formerly “informal” located out in Surco.

Grocery markets

The central market in downtown is a “local” market for Lima’s nine million inhabitants. It is near the old chinatown so convenient for tourist tours of downtown.

Surquillo 1 is a local market but also a central market. I still shop here as there are specialty stalls like the spice stall that other local markets do not have. The prices are better than at Wong. This is the market where the gastro tour go so there are lots of foreigners and tourists in this market. It’s gotten sort of dirty and it’s a mishmosh instead of neatly organized (meat in one area, etc.). On Sunday mornings, there is a farmers’ market outside. Lots of places to eat local food as well (and Venezuelan). The famous La Picanteria is just a few blocks behind hence why this market is part of the food tours.

Surquillo 2 is a collection of areas and not as safe as Surquillo 1.

Lince, Labotan, market is a local market for Lince. I like this market because it has zero tourists (well, me), it’s clean, organized, and covered. Plus, the area around it has many pastry industry shops.

Santa Cruz is one of the local markets for Miraflores. Exceptionally clean.

Productores in San Isidro (on the Miraflores border) is a local market for the wealthy San Isidro-Miraflores types along the malecon. There is a fish market there. One goes in to the parking lot at the San Isidro sports complex and the market is inside.

Magdalena also has a local market. As does every district/barrio.

Minka

… and then there is Minka.

This is in the words of a friend, “reason to never leave Lima.” (my photos do not do it justice. Go see for yourself).

Minka has an excellent fish market, produce market, etc., in the old style INSIDE a giant open-air California style mall. Everything under one “roof.” There are restaurants, tailors, play areas, a Metro (grocery store), cell phone stores, banks… okay, I take it back… maybe there isn’t a movie theater… nor a high end grocery store selling my imported cheese…

Gamarra

The single word, “Gamarra” elicits a volatile reaction when uttered here in Lima.

Gamarra is an area of Lima located in the district of La Victoria, just a few miles from Miraflores and other posh neighborhoods of Lima. Gamarra is known as the textile or fabric district of Lima. Essentially it’s a giant open air pedestrian-friendly fabric and clothing shopping area. The main areas are several streets that are closed off by metal fencing and gates creating a pedestrian zone (I predict that in ten years, this area will be gentrified and quite chic). Gamarra is named after Jiron Gamarra (named after a Peruvian president) and La Victoria was incorporated as a district in 1920. There is a metro stop in Gamarra, plus, a witch’s market (famous for frog smoothies and other talismans). Read more on Gamarra here if you wish.

When reading about Gamarra, the warnings are to watch your wallet. It is true that like any crowded place in Peru, you need to watch for pickpockets. Never put anything in a backpack that you can’t afford to lose. All this said, the young mayor of La Victoria, George Forsyth, of a renowned family, cleaned up Gamarra in 2019. He has taken some heat (even threats) for what he did. Some might say that he made Gamarra not as good a deal as it once was, but it’s still good for your wallet (if you can keep anything in it). Speaking of deals, fabric can be bought for as low as three soles per meter (maybe less?). Most fabric is 1.60 meters wide. That’s a lot of fabric. You can find any type of fabric but each type has an area so I’m not sure if they sell silk (having never been to the silk area). The names of the fabric are perhaps different from what you might call them (I like “chalise” — a cotton blend — for shirts), but go ahead and touch the fabric. There are many forms of fleece which is fun as it needs no edging. During the summer, the mind turns to linen (mine does), and that can be found in Gamarra as well (in Dhaka, linen and spandex were hard to find by the meter — even though Bangladesh is famous for sewing much of the world’s clothes).

There are shopping centers within Gamarra’s pedestrian streets as well stores that sell ready-to-wear clothes, toys, bags, and there are places that will custom print your bags or clothes. The area also sells plus-size clothing (as Peruvians are generally shorter and smaller than most gringos) and some of the signage will even say “ropa para gorditas” (I don’t know where the “gorditos” shop). Some of these stores sell up to XXXL size clothes, which is about a 20-22 in U.S. sizes plus sizes, but the selection is limited so it’s better to get your own clothes made.

Gamarra is also a place where one can buy thread, tailor’s equipment, sewing machines, and yarn. It’s also possible to buy alpaca and llama yarn in Gamarra but again, I have never made it to that area.

Gamarra also has restaurants and many restrooms, as well as lots of security. Like any shopping area in Peru, there are also street stalls. Gamarra was famous for the street stalls until the mayor pushed them out. The street stalls are now a few blocks outside the gated area. The busiest day in Gamarra is Saturday and most shops open around 10 a.m.

Gamarra is also famous for the “informal” market. The use of the word “informal” is actually code for black market and knockoffs. I only shop for fabric.

 

The best fabric prices are to be had in Gamarra but the prices will vary depending on how foreign you appear. What can cost 12 soles ($3.75) per meter for one gringo, can cost six soles per meter for another, less gringo-looking, foreigner. Learning to haggle helps get the price down but also shopping in the less crowded areas as well.

Biodiversity Wonderland, But the Dog…

But the dog… the special dog of Peru is the Peruvian Hairless Dog or Peruvian Inca Orchid Dog Breed. I do not have a photo (which is odd given how many photos I take — but when I googled “dog” and “animal” in my photos, I got some interesting results — corn — but no hairless dog. The one in the jeans and striped top is a French one, I think) so I include a link here. There are several types of Peruvian dog but the most noticeable is the hairless one.

I first saw one and in an “adding injury to insult” sort of way, this particular hairless dog not only had a skin disease,  but also has a “job” where s/he interacts with lots of people all day long. Actually, maybe the skin condition helps keep people from petting him/her?

The Peruvian Hairless Dog looks a lot like Anubis, of ancient Egypt.

In my part of Lima, I don’t see that many street dogs, but I see many other pooches! There are several dog parks and even a dog fair (I don’t think they sell dogs… adopt! Just accoutrements.) on the malecon.

Some gelaterias even sell gelato specially made for dogs. As I wrote in November, I am predicting that the new trend in restaurants will be dog menus (no, not menus made of dog).

Lima doesn’t seem quite as pooch crazy as Bogota but perhaps it will become so.

Like in Bogota, the vets will make house calls. Dr. Cols makes calls and he speaks English (and canine — oh, and feline and whatever).

Really, this blog posting was just to show some photos of dogs.

NOTE: I do not receive any monetary remuneration for any of the businesses (like the dog cookie business — get ya fresh wholesome all natural 100 percent ancestral grain puppy treats NOW!) whom I “advertise” (in the verb sense) on my blog.

The term for pet is “mascota” in Spanish and aren’t they just?

 

Once Upon A Danish Yule

A Danish Christmas (or yule) is celebrated on December 24 in the evening (like the Peruvians). While there are many different family traditions, the evening will be something like as this…

It will be dark as the sun may have set around four in the afternoon. There may be a light layer of slush or sleet on the trees, glinting in the streetlamps. If you are lucky, there will be snow providing a soft sparkle to the night. As you make your way to the family celebration, you will walk the decorated streets, festooned with garlands of lights, candles flickering on window sills, and the smell of onions frying.

When you get to your destination, all dressed in red or green, you will be hugged and kissed by your hosts. Warmth will greet you as you enter the home. The windows and doors may be decorated with paper cut outs of Christmas elves, some of these may be less Disney and more Dickens in style and may, every year, be carefully preserved in tissue paper, to once again every year, get taped to the walls to tell their stories of tricks or goose chasing. The elves can be in sets of activities, some doing winter sports, or playing in a band, or cooking. Some are hand-made and others are bought every year and carefully cut out. The tree will be decorated with heirloom decorations (perhaps a small decorated bottle cap star that grandma made when she was but a wee thing) and tinsel. Some people even keep up the old tradition of live candles on the tree. img_1693

(The Danes, most of whom are Lutheran, may go to a Christmas church service. This, for some, is the only time of the year that they will go to church. Otherwise, the churches are used mostly for baptisms, confirmations, weddings, and funerals.) Christmas music will be playing everywhere and even the non-religious will still get into the Christmas spirit.

Perhaps you will be offered mulled wine, adding a smell of warm wine, spices, and raisins to the air. The dinner will include roast duck or pork roast with crackling (goose in old times, and in modern times, turkey). The meal includes small caramelized potatoes, chestnut colored and slightly sweet. There will be brown gravy, boiled potatoes, warm red cabbage, stuffing made of cooked apples and prunes, and there will be lots of everything. For Christmas dessert, the Danes eat rice pudding. It’s a rice, cream, and chopped almond dessert served with cooked cherry sauce (or strawberry — something to evoke the red and white colors of Denmark). The special thing about dessert is that the rice pudding is actually a game — one of the almonds is left intact and whoever finds it without chewing it, wins the “almond gift.” Many grandparents make special bowls for the grandchildren (usually for those under 15) who will then miraculously find an almond in their portion! In the old days, the prize would be a pig made out of marzipan, and indeed, it is still possible to buy or make your own marzipan pig to enjoy at Christmastime.

Another fun thing about the Danes is that they have a “practice” Christmas dinner on November 10, which is Saint Martin’s Eve, when one would eat a roast goose and thus practice making a Christmas meal. Really, it’s often just another reason to get together with friends and family and enjoy some “hygge” or coziness. In the time up to Christmas there will be many parties, including the Christmas lunch but I’ll blog about that later. Sometimes one is invited, or hosts, a Christmas decoration/craft party during which Christmas tree decorations are made, paper elves are cut, table centerpiece tableaux are made, and sometimes candles, cookies, and candy are cooked. Often mulled wine is served at these parties as well.)

After dinner which will include a few toasts (the Danes have a special ritualistic way that they toast including always make eye contact with everyone around the table when they toast. The clinking of glasses is less important). After dinner, there will be a break. Sometimes the break is to walk the dogs, air the room, or do some clearing up of the dishes. Then there will be coffee and brandy served, and people will move into position around the living room. But, first, there is singing and dancing!

Everyone holds hands and dances around the Christmas tree singing Christmas carols. Often it’s just the first two verses and in many families, the carols are chosen by the youngest person and all the way up to the oldest (everyone knows that grandpa likes a certain song, so out of deference, one does not pick that song!). Dogs are included so sometimes you will be holding a wagging tail… or the bark. Generally, the direction one dances around the Christmas tree changes with every song, and at the end, there is one particular song, “Now it’s Christmas Again” which is sung with such gusto that someone will peel away from the tree and lead everyone in a conga line around the house until ending up back at the sofas, where the coffee, brandy, and cigarettes (in the old days), are waiting.

Then it’s gift time! But, there is no mad ransacking of the gifts in a Danish Christmas. Usually, someone (with able knees — so that they can crawl under the tree) will put on an elf hat and be the designated Santa Claus helper. The person will find a gift for the youngest person, read the gift label (“To Uncle Jens, Merry Christmas, you are wished a wonderful new year, with dearest love, your nephew Michael” or some such thing), and hand the gift to the person. Everyone will watch, cameras poised, for the look of delight when the gift is opened, someone will have the trash bag at the ready, another will have scissors or a pocket knife in hand ready to assist with a troublesome ribbon or dastardly piece of tape. Then, the person will look ever so pleased and say, “we agree to do the thank yous after all the gifts are opened?” And so on. This will go on until everyone is sitting with a neat pile of gifts, perhaps with wrapping bows stuck to their sweaters or hair, and looking happy. As the gifts thin out under the tree, the santa helper will make sure to hold back one gift for each person for the final round. After all the gifts are unwrapped, everyone gets up to say thank you and hug.

The next day, and certainly within a week, thank you cards will have been sent out. (Another thing about Danes: after a gathering, the next time you see someone, it’s important to say, “tak for sidst” or “thank you for the last time.”) Everyone goes to bed waiting to see what’s in their stocking in the morning.

Idealistic, right? That’s how it should be. Tis the season.

Merry Christmas! God Jul (pronounced “go yule”)!