Tuesday, September 17, 2013

A Run, Mistura, and Registry Fun

Sunday was a jam packed day. It started with Marco leaving the house at 6:30 am and heading to the center of Lima for a run down the via expresa ending on Javier Prado. It was a run for Dia de las Fuerzas Armadas or Day of the Armed Forces. It was fun seeing different groups run together. There were other people invited to run as well so in between the blocks of military personnel there were random runners. Marco ran with his classmates from War School. 

Where's Marco?

After watching the run Marco and I headed to Mistura. Mistura is Lima's annual food festival started by Gaston Acurio. He is Peru's claim to fame when it comes to promoting Peruvian gourmet around the world. I think he might have just opened a new restaurant in Chicago. I should look that up. I liked eating at Chicha in Cusco and I am going to be trying out Tanta here in Lima next week.

Mistura was packed but what was more daunting than anything was the line to get in! Marco and I would probably have waited a good 45 minutes just to get into the festival if we hadn't decided to walk around to the other side. We were a part of a group of people who had the same idea. There was no way there was only one entrance. Sure enough, there was no line on the other side! Huzzah! We didn't want to spend too much time in lines so we steered clear of the cilindrada (barbeque section). Peruvians love their roasted everything. I found a recoto relleno stand. It is a stuffed pepper with meat and veggies inside. It was accompanied by a cheesy potato dish. Marco found arroz con pato (duck and rice) and we shared mazamorra (a syrup made of purple corn) with arroz con leche (milky rice). We weren't full so we headed over to the limeño section and shared a causa (mashed yellow potatoe stuffed with chicken and avocado). To finish off our gluttonous afternoon we ate picarones (sweet potato funnel cake/donut).
The line extended back at least a half kilometer.
We found the secret entrance on the other side!
This is the first time both Marco and myself went to Mistura and we were impressed with the layout. It wasn't well advertised that there were two entrances but once inside we had relatively little wait time in lines. We did choose things that were less popular but overall we were happy with the outcome. There was a ticket system and tickets were sold in 13, 7, 3, and 1 sol increments. Most portions were 13 soles and with any food festival the consumer tends to get a taste of what the vendor has to offer instead of a regular sized plate. Granted, regular sized plates in restaurants here tend to be quite large (mostly filled with white rice though). That is to be expected at a fair though. I think of Taste of Chicago and that really is a perfect name for a food festival. You get a taste of things. That's what makes it fun though. Also, there were restaurants represented that sell plates from 40 to 50 soles a plate so getting a sample for 13 is a steal. We weren't so interested in finding those restaurants as much as we were interested in finding the food that suited our desires in the moment. I have a feeling that Mistura will only continue to grow in the years to come. It is a relatively new event. It stared in 2008 under the name "Peru Mucho Gusto" and then the following year it was renamed Mistura. I am interested to see how many people went through over the course of the 15 day event. It has to be in the 300,000s.

After leaving Mistura and taking a quick nap in the grass outside (with sun! Hurray for spring! Let there be more sun in Lima!) we headed over to Saga Falabella where we got our hands on a scanner and registered all the things we would like for our place. It was really fun picking things out with Marco. The custom in Peru is that you drop off a wedding gift at the residence of the couple before or after the wedding. People don't bring their gifts to the reception like they do in the States. I think that is kind of nice. It means that people have to take time out of their day to make a trip to personally deliver a gift. We also have to personally deliver our wedding invitations. That, on the other hand, is not so much fun. Fortunately, Marco is the one doing most of the delivering since many of the guests are in the military so he has more contact with them. I am sure that this is the custom because the mail system is not completely reliable here.

I hope everyone has a great week!

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