Friday, October 05, 2007

Cafe Hentro, Cusco- a lesson in exotic fruits!

This place was one of the most western looking restaurants we went to-it obviously was targeting tourists - so we had to try it! In actual fact, it wasn't like most of the places which targeted tourists- it seemed a tad more reserved (maybe because there weren't people pestering you to come in and eat- and have a free pisco sour!) Having ventured for a quick snack on a previous occasion we were rewarded with a very pleasant experience and so returned once again to sample some more of the interesting offerings behind their display windows.

On offer, a range of exotic peruvian fruit mousse desserts including from top left: aguayamanto (also known as a ground cherry, peruvian cherry tomato, cape gooseberry), cherimoya (custard apple), manzana (apple), chocolate brownie (see below), sauco (elderberries) and lúcuma.

I had already tried the cherimoya in a juice on our first visit and was keen to try another novel concoction so I asked what a lúcuma was. The waiter said it was a tropical fruit, best eaten in summer and asked if I wanted to see it before ordering anything...

...looked like an unwrinkled passionfruit on the outside

...inside it had a creamy texture and was golden like a mango but not juicy. It was like eating caramel but in fruit form. The taste was so subtle but very sweet (like eating a date without it being fibrous). There was a bit of an aftertaste though similar to unripened bananas but overall pleasant. So I ordered it as a lucuma smoothie along with the brownie and Magic G had a queso y jamon sandwich- calientes (toasted ham and cheese sandwich but it sounds all the more fancy if you say it in spanish!).

queso goodness!

a good coffee is hard to come by... even here!

lúcuma smoothie with chocolate brownie.


Oh yeah... food perve!

Before we finished our meal, the waiter returned and gave me a lustrous brown seed- the size of a chestnut. He said that the cook was happy I had shown such interest and wanted to give me a gift of the lucuma seed, so I could take it back to Australia and hopefully try to grow it there too. Unfortunately, though with customs being extra persistent I wouldn't have risked it, but then again after a few days in my luggage the outer coating of the seed cracked from dehydration and it didn't even make it out of cusco.

... a very pretty seed indeed (though the reflection of my camera off it's surface sort of spoils it!)

1 comment:

  1. Oh that brownie...Surprised it lasted long enough for a picture. Too bad you couldn't smuggle that back... Too bad about the seed! but you're right, an appearance on boarder security may have resulted ;)


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