The northern highlands…

When I left Paita, I headed into the mountains, this time armed with an official Peruvian map I picked up in Piura, which I was told was completely accurate (so far so good).

Arriving in Chachapoyas, I encounter a Croatian couple Petar and Irena, traveling by motorcycle as well They were on the later Stahlratte crossing where they had met Joel (see Honduras and … link here) We spent the next few rainy days visiting fairly unimpressive Chachapoyan and Incan ruins and catching up on our blogs.

One day, on our way back from one of the ruins, we stopped for lunch at a comedor just on the highway. All three of us ordered the trout and were really impressed. It possibly the best trout I’ve had this trip so I inquired as to the secret. It’s rubbed with garlic, pre-washed/marinated in Manteca (pork fat), salt, and lime before being fried in manteca and oil the cook enthusiastically told me. Pork fat? No wonder it was so good. The owner, excited about my interest in the food said I had to come back on Sunday for the house specialty. Arroz con Pato. (rice with duck) and ceviche mixto. Ducks are about as common in peoples yards in these parts as chickens, hens, roosters and pigs so obviously a local food. I asked if I could come early and help with the cooking and get the recipe, and got an enthusiastic “yes, of course”. Woohoo, Hasta Domingo, a kiss on the cheek and a wave goodbye would change my schedule would to return in two days.

trout in pork fat. YUM!

The whole family showed up for Sunday’s special including great great grandma of 98 who wanted to hook me up with her great granddaughter of 19. The whole family was super fun but talked fast and with an accent so little was understood but a great experience.

great, great grandaughter

Great, great grandma

The duck was similar to a risotto of sorts and they actually used vegetables, Woohoo, what a treat! I’m starting to love Peru. Here’s some pics

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