One first thing we have been dying to try since we have arrived in Peru was Alpaca. We finally gave it a go here in Cusco. How's our first time eating alpaca and our first meal in Cusco in general? It's different, like, really :)
From Lima to Paracas to Huacachina to Arequipa and now we're here! A beautiful Incan city of Cusco, Peru! The city used to be the capital of the Incan empire so you can imagine how beautiful and unique it could be. Very pretty!
The weather in Cusco is also quite cooling as it's high up and surrounded by all the mountains. The altitude 3,400 m (11,200ft) and it is common for many visitors to experience some mild symptoms of altitude sickness. Some way you can manage/avoid it and finally, you will surely get used to it. My body didn't have any problem adjusting to the altitude,luckily. Though, it's so dang hard to just walk around. I got so tired walking uphill since it's low on oxygen. Much more surprises here in Cusco.
Our first meal in Cusco at... ?
Where else can you find Alpaca as a meal in every corner of the city...?
Not just the beauty of Cusco city, the food it has to offer is just hard to beat. One of those happen to be alpaca steak and cuisine made of alpaca in general. I had never tried any alpaca before in my life so I was so excited when I got a chance.
Our first night, we got some recommendations from a hostel owner. A place where you can get local Peruvian food for affordable prices, Yes, alpaca included. Honestly and truly sorry, I can't recall the place name and the place seems to not exist on google maps either. It's somewhere around there close to Restaurant Sumaqcha, but not exactly it.
Anyways, as soon as we sat down and ordered, we got some delicious garlic bread served. Most of the more high-end restaurants in Cusco do give this as complimentary.
We ordered a special menu set where we get an appetizer, main dish and a drink for S/25 ($7). One delicious mushroom soup, alpaca steak (of course!) and for the drink, we had never had coca tea with the real whole coca leaves in it so we went for that.
$7 meal set with alpaca included!
Yes! Quite impressive, isn't it? How was it though eating alpaca for the very first time. Honestly, I had such a high hope since people are all hyped about it. A few people on internet we trust really insist we gotta try when we're here in Peru. It's DELICIOUS! Honestly, I think it's quite alright. If you hand me a dish and don't tell me what it is, I would probably think it's some kind of tender beef or something.
I think Kev can tell the differences though. He was like 'Mmm.. this is so tender' and all that. Well, I'm starting to think if I'm actually a wise foodie...?
Stay tuned for more alpaca! After this first alpaca we had tried, we then tried a lot a lot more in many different forms. I started to like it a lot. Not that I could already taste the difference but more like, it's exclusive and we don't have it there where I'm from (Thailand). Feeling so special eating these fluffy animals :3
Our first real 'Coca tea' in Cusco
A lot of those tea bags are also real coca tea, don't get me wrong. The feeling though is much different than drinking it with a few whole leaves floating around. I was quite excited for the first timer like us.
Then if you really like the taste or the effects it gives, which are high caffeine and also helps with the altitude sickness. You could always go grab a whole big bag of dry coca leaves for just S/ 2 and that would last for a month or two.
Oh wait, this is the same coca they use to make cocaine. In most of countries, it's illegal but here, you can drink in on the streets, you can drink it or the roofs and all the restaurants and cafe serve it so, enjoy the privilege!
Rocoto Relleno (S/ 15)
Rocoto peppers stuffed with some marinated meat
One thing we would love to try if there's any difference between Cusco's Rocoto Relleno and Arequipa's Rocoto Relleno. We expected it to be really spicy as they say it would be. I was not as spicy as we wanted to so, we gave rocoto relleno another try here at our first meal in Cusco.
First of all, they cook it a bit differently here... or just in this restaurant, I suppose. The whole rocoto peppers are deep-fried and served with a few potatoes and salad. Not as spicy as we expected once more so, I think we're done with our rocoto relleno journey for now.
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Cusco was the city we spent the most time while in Peru. I myself spent the whole month and still feel like I need more time to explore what it has to offer. All the high to mid range restaurants around. All the hidden huariques (meaning 'wall holes' known for delicious local food spot with affordable prices - Most of the time S/ 5 ($1.5))
Stay tuned till we eat again :)
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