Folks told me that Lima’s Chinatown was not that exciting. I’m glad that people played it down. When I saw it for myself, I was pleasantly surprised.
Chinatown consists of a small pedestrian street with requisite arch and aura cleaners… and many shops and mini-malls in the surrounding streets. Chinatown is actually very close to Lima’s central square, the Plaza de Armas.
I was pleased to see that the Chinese stores also sold Thai curry paste and other rare items here in Peru.
In almost every shop, there were items that I did not recognize. That’s part of the fun of exploring.
Considering that the Chinese (mostly from Canton) got to Peru a bit after they got to California in the 1800s, in many ways, lots of Peruvian food is Chinese food. For example, the Peruvians love fried rice, “chaufa,” and eating Chinese food from a “chifa” is a normal part of life.
As I was checking out at one store, I noticed that a last minute “temptation” like chewing gum or candy, were snack packs of chicken feet (three, which I thought an odd number).
When I went a restaurant to get some fried rice and wanted to make sure that their recipe did not involve soy sauce, the owners of the restaurant TOLD me that I’d have it with soup (what is a meal without soup?) and they tried to teach me how to order “chaufa” without soy sauce. In Chinese.