Got your plans set up for Labor Day weekend yet? No!?? Go check out the Parked NY Food Truck Festival on Governer’s Island this weekend on Sunday. It’s free to take the ferry and it’s free to attend the event. The food? Not free, but it’s going to be a stellar food truck line up and well worthwhile!
Some of the food trucks confirmed for the parked food truck festival so far include:
Jamaican Dutchy Food Truck, Rickshaw Dumpling Food Truck, Green Pirate juice Food Truck, Joyride Truck, Red Hook Lobster Pound, Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream Food Truck, Halo Berlin, The Cinnamon Snail, Kelvin Natural Slush Co Food Truck, Hermelinda Mexicana and more!
WHEN : Sunday, September 5th
WHERE : Colonel’s Row @ Governors Island
DOORS : Noon – 5pm
COVER : Free!
RAIN DATE: Sunday, September 26th
Ferry Schedule Link: http://www.govisland.com/html/visit/directions.shtml
I checked out Governer’s Island last week for the Jazz Age Lawn party – it was awesome. If you have a bike, bring it along. It’s a great way to check out the entire island. Governor’s Island is kind of shaped like an ice cream cone. Colonel’s row is runs West East across the island at the upper (bottom of the ice cream scoop) portion of the Island. Enjoy!! These NY Food Trucks won’t disappoint!]]>
City Market a few blocks west of Plaza De Armas Cusco, Peru
During my vacation in Peru I probably ended staying in Cusco for about 8 days with about 5 of them used to acclimate to the high altitude before the hike up Machu Picchu, then a few more days relaxing/recovering before the rain forest excursion. While spending time in Cusco, I seriously scoured the city for some great local food. I was successful at finding a few non touristy places, but it wasn’t until I stumbled upon the local city market did I really hit the mother lode of local streetfood. It was simply the holy grail of local cuisine and I had found it at last. After finding this special culinary cache, I made it my priority to go back for lunch for 3 days straight in order to try out the various food stalls. The city market, as you know is where the locals buy their local necesities be it fresh meats, vegetables, fruits, dried goods, breads, or tailored clothing. But the city market is also a place to try out the freshest and cheapest meals in town. Some of the highlights that I checked out included the chicken soup stall or Sopa de Pollo – it’s freshly made and served with pasta and fresh vegetables. I paid about 5 soles or $1.75 for a large bowl. You can get an extra ladle called a ‘yappa’ for about a quarter. I also really enjoyed the fresh fruit stand where I got one of the most freshly made watermelon smoothies with oranges I’ve ever had. (Everything you hear about the freshness of the fruits and vegetables in South America is absolutely true.) One of my favorite food stands however was a fish and chicken stand where it was so popular, you basically had to fight for a seat on one of the crowded benches. I ordered a plate of breaded fried trout over a plate of rice with fries which also comes with a soup appetizer for a price of$7 soles or about $2.30. Everything again is freshly made and the fish is actually bought from the fish stall across the market. This city market in Peru has many similarities with the city markets and stalls I ran across when I was briefly living in Beijing. They both carry the same type of produce, meats and vegetables and feature amazing street food. It’s incredible how different the cultures are between Peruvians and the Chinese, yet the basic necessities found in stalls are virtually the same. Why, then is it so hard to find such equivalents in the USA? Ok there’s the Union Square Farmers Market but come on?!! My friend Tizoc made an interesting comment about this: people in Peru would pay more for the convenience of something that is processed and easy to drink (such as fresh orange juice) while in the USA, people would pay more for freshly squeezed organic orange juice. I’m sorry but I think the Peruvians got the better deal, don’t you think?]]>
Now, on to the food. Everything you hear about the amazing food in South America is true. The vegetables, fruit and meat are fresh, non-genetically modified, and the taste is better than your average over-priced organic equivalent in the USA.
Day 1 – Dec 28th, 2007 Cusco, Peru
Cranked on a mixture of Diamox (high altitude medicine) and Coca Tea, I stumbled/wandered the city of Cusco (Cuzco) in search of good local cuisine. It was actually quite difficult given that I was staying about a stone’s throw from the Plaza de Armas, the “Times Square” of Cusco one might say – thick with tourist shops and high priced watered down, disgusting N American cuisine. I wandered about 2 km up the hills before finding a few places that served Cuy al horno (baked) and Cuy chactado (fried).
Ok, but Guinea Pig?
Aren’t they related to rodents?
Yes and to be quite specific, Guinea Pigs are a species of rodent belonging to the family Caviidae and the genus Cavia.
Believe me, it was not so much a gustatory dilemma, but also a personal one since my sisters and I had a few guinea pigs as pets during our childhood. Nevertheless, I didn’t come all the way down to Peru just to miss out on a national dish. Not to mention, for you hardcore food enthusiasts, Guinea Pig was featured both on Andrew Zimmem’s Bizarre Foods and Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations. Alas, you’re now looking through the eyes of an obsessed food blogger. Guinea Pig, my friend is what separates foodies from faux foodies. As a side note, I’m going to draw the line at dog right now. Although I was given a few opportunities to try it in China, I could not and will not go there. Call me a fakie if you want, but sorry.
“What the Fuck…”
That’s what I said as I boldly walked into the restaurant and promptly ordered the Cuy Al Horno special. My tingling feet and cramped stomach (side effects of the Diamox) suddenly made me second guess my decision, but I pressed on and slammed down a hot brew of the mind stimulating coca tea which emboldened my decision to eat baked rodent meat.
“What the Fuck..?”
That’s what I said when the waiter served the dish. Click here for photo (I warned you) This has to be a sick joke that the locals play on the tourists right? They must have hidden cameras to capture wary N Americans in the process of buckling over to vomit? I guess he read the blank expression on my face and quickly explained that this is simply a presentation for photos and that he would then take the dish back to the kitchen to have it properly cut for consumption. After retuning with the dish (head removed), I dug in and guess what? It tastes a lot like chicken. No joke! It’s baked with sprigs of a cilantro like herb that was pretty overpowering in my opinion but the meat was tender while the skin was a little tough. There are also a lot of bones, so watch out. The plate was served with a side of baked potatoes and a delicious deep fried pork stuffed green pepper. Overall, a good meal and one I would try again – maybe the fried variety next.
I make it a point whenever I visit a country to try out the local cuisine and I felt pretty good trying out a new dish for the first time in my life. Guinea Pig is significant staple of the Peruvian diet. It is estimated that Peruvians consume an estimated 65 million guinea pigs each year. What’s additionally fascinating is the degree that guinea pigs are engrained into the culture, so much so that there is famous painting of the Last Supper in the main cathedral in Cusco that shows Christ and the twelve disciples dining on guinea pig!
So my advice, try it if you get the chance. I heard from some locals here that you may be able to get it in NY. I highly doubt that but I will look for this and let you know if it’s true.]]>