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.
Arepa, arepa, arepa! It got to the point where I craved an arepa every day when in Venezuela. When in Rome. Here are some of the typical Venezuelan foods that I tried.
Arepa: a cornmeal bread used to splice and fill. New versions involve the use of beets and spices. There is a sweet version with cumin. Arepas can be fried or grilled. I liked running it through the toaster a few times.
Tequennos ( double en equals enya): mozzarella cheese sticks served with honey. A bar food.
Empanada: a dumpling usually made of cornmeal filled with shredded fish, cheese, meat, etc.
Cachapa: corn omelette filled with beans, cheese, meat, etc.
Chupe: soup, usually chicken broth with potatoes.
Perico: scrambled eggs with tomato and onion. Just like in Colombia.
Parilla: means grill and the Venezuelans love things on the grill.
Soup for breakfast: like the Colombians, the Venezuelans have a soup for breakfast but here it is primarily used as a hangover cure.
Paisa queso: a salty fresh cheese with large holes.
Hallaca (tamale): served mostly around Christmas. Also, at Christmastime, one can get “ham bread” which is a roulade bread made with ham, olives, and cheese.
Casabe: flat cassava bread.
Cassava (nachos): pronounces with the “vee” sound is a dish of nachos. Casabe with the “bee” sound is a flat bread.
Desechado “shredded”: they do love shredded meat on everything. It’s like meat is a vegetable topping, sort of the way cheese is on every salad in the U.S.
Fresas con crema: strawberries with cream. It’s a thing. Good too.
There are many other types of typical Venezuelan food. But, I mainly heard the mantra of arepas every time I asked about national foods.
As for drinks, the fresh juice is fantastic in Venezuela. As is the rum. The Santa Teresa and the Diplomatico brands were both good enough to drink neat, hold the coke (and as most of the Coke is made without sugar, that is practical). There is a form of sangria called “vino verano” or summer wine which is red wine mixed with a soft drink.
Don’t be afraid. Go for the goods. Bogota’s street food is very easy to try. There’s is everything from fresh juice, fruit salad, bunuelos, empanadas, arepas, hotdogs, sandwiches, coconut, and even breakfast carts where they will fry up an egg and put it in a sliced arepa, sandwich style. Because the tap water in Bogota is drinkable, the street carts are also fairly clean.
I enjoy the luxury of being able to find, on almost any street corner, a fresh pressed glass of orange juice, or carrot and orange juice, or mandarin juice, or sliced pineapple, or a watermelon slice, or a deep fried yucca dumpling.
During Ciclovia, there are lots of stalls offering all kinds of food, though most of it is fruit.