Thursday, July 31, 2008

Celebrating Peru: Peruvian Pisco Flowed From Lima's Plaza De Armas

Photo: Andina
Peruvian Independence Day, July 28, has come and gone. Here in Los Angeles, we ended up eating papa a la huancaína, choros a la chalaca, anticuchos, papa rellena, and picarones at a popular Peruvian eatery, El Pollo Inka in Gardena, where they also put on a Peruvian show.

Peruvian crooner Edith Barr was in town and sang a few classic criolla songs. She looked pretty good for 70! The crowd loved her. There was a good set of music and lots of dancing, which Peruvians love to do.

We had a couple of so-so pisco sours that made us wish we were in Lima watching the fireworks and drinking proper pisco sours. But overall, for Los Angeles, we can't complain. The crowd even sang the Peruvian National Anthem led by Los Angeles' Peruvian Consul.

Meanwhile, back in Lima, Peruvian pisco flowed from the historic fountain at the center of Lima's Plaza de Armas. This was in celebration of Pisco Day, an annual celebration honoring pisco which falls on the fourth Sunday of July. This year, Pisco Day happened to be the day prior to Peruvian Independence Day. More reason to celebrate!

Photo: Andina
Having pisco flow from this historic fountain has become one of the most popular events as part of the Pisco Day festivities. This year, according to news reports, there were thousands of people waiting in line to sample the free pisco.

Photo: Andina
Even Peruvian President Alan Garcia got into the act (although, we doubt he had to wait in the line). He may not have a high popularity index in Peru, but he sure looks like he enjoys his Peruvian pisco!

Photos: Andina

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TAGS: Peru, Peruvian, food, cooking, cuisine, cocina, comida, gastronomía, peruana


Barbara said...

Alejandro --
Hah! You're right about Garcia probably not having to wait in line for his pisco like the other Peruvians. Lucky guy.

Thanks for stopping by my blog (An Amerian in Lima) and adding my link to your site. Much appreciated. :)

My husband and I went to Rosa Nautica on 28 de julio for pisco sours. Don't envy us -- they were awful. Too much sweet syrup.

We had better luck at a street fair in Pueblo Libre, where they were mixing pisco sours at these little booths. Drinks served in plastic cups, but they had just the right amount of sourness.

BTW: the museums in Lima were free that day. So nice to see Peruvians with their families, introducing the kids to Peru's amazing cultural heritage.

Of course, you know which Moche ceramics made the biggest impression on the kids!
--Barbara (An American in Lima)

Stuart said...

I didn't make it to the plaza this year, but I did last year. I could only bring myself to queue twice. The atmosphere was great though.

::Alejandro:: said...

Thanks Barbara for your comment...I know everyone raves about the pisco sours at the Maury and Bolivar, but I like the ones at Cafe Haiti...they're perfectly decent pisco sours while sitting at one of the outdoor tables watching the world go by. And, yes, I know which Moche figures are most ... impressive! Jajajaja!

Pico said...

Hola Alejandro,

Welcome back! You had me worried since you were not posting for a while.

To tell you the truth, I have stopped drinking Pisco sours after having mixed results from different places. My vice now is to drink Pisco puro, like the Italian grappa.

I was in Peru last March, and I loaded up with some incredible artisanal production from San Pedro de Flores (Claro) and Mala (Gran Cruz) and they are a pleasure to drink. Actually, they are so smooth that it is a waste to use them to make the cocktails.

So, from NYC, salud y seco y volteado.


::Alejandro:: said...

@ Stuart: well, you're lucky to live in Lima, so you don't really have to queue to drink pisco...great photos from last year's event...

@Pico, thanks so much for your kind words, they made my day. I also like to drink fine pisco straight, like grappa as you say. But I still enjoy my pisco sours. Although, the last time I was in Lima, I also finally sampled the famous pisco punch at T'anta...and boy...was that a great cocktail! If you have any pics or commentary you'd like me to put up about your March trip to Peru, send me an email at Peru.Food (at) gmail (dot) com...Salud!

Barbara said...

Alejandro -- I'll make sure to try the pisco sours at Haiti. Never thought of ordering one there. Will also check out Tanta's pisco punch; I need to find good alternatives to pisco sours since I'm technically allergic to uncooked egg whites and sometimes (but not always, for some reason) I get flu-like symptoms from eating them.

One idea: Why don't you host a poll asking readers to vote for their favorite pisco sour in Lima? People here are so opinionated, a poll is sure to draw responses. Let Living in Peru know about your poll, while you're at it, so you can involve their readers.

I think there is some blog plugin that sets up and runs the poll for you. (Experienced bloggers, help me out on this one -- I don't remember what the plugin is.)

::Alejandro:: said...

Barbara, I've been thinking about adding a poll for a while, but now you've given me a good concrete idea. Stay tuned...a pisco sour poll may be forthcoming in the near future...

BTW, have you been to Antigua Taberna Queirolo in Pueblo Libre? There they just drink the pisco mixed with Canada Dry, they call it 'la res'...

but it means a whole bottle of pisco and another of Canada Dry...not too great if you're a mom...unless you get the niñera to mind the boy while you and El Fotógrafo make the Taberna, of course...

Saludos! And thanks again for the great idea about the poll...

Canelita said...

Alejandro, I'll say, those pisco sours at El Pollo Inka were disappointing to say the least, even for a once-in-a-blue-moon-drinker like me. However, the show and the rare opportunity to sing the Peruvian National Anthem more than made up for that! :)

As for the pisco and ginger ale combination, it is a popular drink at El Bolivariano, just around the corner of Taberna Queirolo, on Pasaje Santa Rosa. Customers usually order "the set", which is exactly that, a bottle of pisco Queirolo and another one of Canada Dry. Oh, plus some sliced limes...and they might call the drink a 'chilcano', but I'm not so sure about that.

::Alejandro:: said...

@ Canelita: you're right, those are called chilcanos and are both refreshing and potent!

Barbara said...

Hey, A --
I have been to Quierola in Pueblo Libre -- what an atmospheric place. I never seem to make it there, though, when I'm in the mood for a drink; it's usually right after we've been to the museum. We did try to have a PS there on 28 de julio, and the place was just closing up at 3 in the afternoon. I don't get it, but, then again, I am often mystified by events here in Peru.

I'll be looking out for your pisco poll.

::Alejandro:: said...

"I am often mystified by events here in Peru." Yeah, me too...

I'm not sure when I'll get around to do the pisco sour poll, but I'll keep you posted. Saludos!