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Sunday, August 5, 2012

Enjoying Regional Foods as the Jungle City of Pucallpa Celebrates

We enjoyed our time in Pucallpa, Peru. There are only a few geocaches there but we think that will change as tourism increases in the area and as a few local geocachers start the work of building up the sport in the Peruvian jungle. We got a taste of the Peruvian "selva" not only as we learned to coped with the hot, humid weather but also as we ventured out to try some of their typical regional foods during the 123rd anniversary celebration for the city. In a sports complex called "Sport Loreto" about four blocks from the center of the city different culinary schools from the several universities plus some private enterprises were serving up some pretty good plates. We tried the Noodles and chicken in red sauce accompanied with huancaino potatoes. It was good! The special aji (hot sauce) added to the heat of the day. Probably my favorite was a soup. Its kind of strange to eat a hot soup on a hot day but there you are. We came back a second day to try the Inchicapi, a chicken soup made with a base of peanut sauce, cilantro and yuca. I like anything with a peanut flavor. I can do without the cilantro though. The jungle tribes frequently raise peanuts along the river banks in order to make soups and sauces. These are particularly good over boiled potatoes. Another dish is Rice with smoked pork. You get a nice cut of pork accompanied by green plantain prepared in the shape of a ball on the grill. Patarashca, is a common jungle tribal meal prepared with a whole fish wrapped in a large biajo leaf used for tamales and cooked over a fire. Another is Juanes, also utilizes the biajo leaf which is filled with rice, eggs and chicken, tied up and boiled in a large pot of water. So much food and so little time to try it out. If you get the chance to visit Pucallpa be sure and visit during either June when the region celebrates San Juan or come during the city's anniversary the week around 13 October. Check out the food and the jungle city geocaches!

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