Desserts and all other sweets very often make us remember our childhood flavours. In Peru, as in every country in the world, some specialties keep being alive in everyone’s mind and heart through their unique and irreplaceable flavour and through the memories they are bringing up. It’s this feeling that we perceived as we were walking through Mistura’s dulceros and chocolateros stands (the stands selling sweets and chocolate specialties). For example, when you see adults and children standing in line for twenty minutes to get a chocolate skewer or little donuts, each of them then coming out with his trophy in the hand, ready to be tasted! We decided to join them and taste a few Peruvian sweets and desserts.
The Picaron is a sweet ring-shaped donut which is most of the time prepared with sweet potatoes (camote). We discovered on Mistura that there exists a dozen of different Picarones recipes and that they can for example be prepared with quinoa, plantain bananas or corn. Once the dough is ready, the Picaron is fried in oil as a traditional donut, and then served with a fruit coulis, varying according taste!
The stand that we chose for tasting this specialty is the Picarones Lina stand. Lina is in fact the cook and proposes two different Picarones recipes: Picarones de quinoa (quinoa remaining the main ingredient) and Picarones de maïs morado (made with a special Peruvian corn, dark purple-coloured). You can easily notice the difference between both recipes as the corn Picaron keeps a dark purple colour, whereas the quinoa Picaron remains glazed. The quinoa Picaron is served with a passion fruit coulis, whereas the corn Picaron is served with its corn coulis of the same purple colour. Both are really tasty but be careful with the calories! 😉 The corn one may be a little sweeter.
Picarones de quinoa & maïs morado (Peruvian purple corn) – Mistura
Chocolate sweets from Peru
We continue our visit with the Peruvian chocolate makers stands, all of them looking very appetizing! In order to promote the cocoa 100% from Peru, many stands are attracting visitors with chocolate fountains or fruit and marshmallows skewers dipped in chocolate. As a good gourmet, I decide to wait in line on the choco museo stand (see our latest article on the subject!) for a strawberry skewer dipped in a chocolate 70 % cocoa. It was just amazingly delicious! If there hadn’t been about fifty people waiting in front of me, I would probably have tasted another one! 😉
The King-Kong cake, a childhood flavour from Peru
Next stop: the Lambayecano stand where we from far way recognized the so famous King-Kong cakes so much appreciated in Peru. The King-Kong cake is a specialty from the Peruvian northern coast, more precisely from Lambayeque town. The stand manager is telling me its story.
The King-Kong is a cake made of different biscuit layers filled with milk marmalade (manjar blanco) and other fruit marmalades such as pineapple, passion fruit or lúcuma (the lúcuma being a typical Andean piece of fruit, which looks like an avocado but with a very sweet flavour, and which is really often used in Peruvian desserts such as cakes and ice creams).
The Lambayecano’s recipe also includes a chancaca marmalade (from sugar cane). The King-Kong is usually offered as a present when visiting friends or family. It remains a classic of Peruvian gastronomy.
El molino francès giving Peruvian touch to French pastry
Little surprise on Mistura: as we wrote about fusion cuisine in another article, the French are also leaving their mark in the Peruvian gastronomy, but this time in pastry.
We discovered the stand EL MOLINO FRANCES (the French mill) where we could identify familiar pastry names in the showcase: financier, Saint Honoré, macaron…
The macaron that I have in front of me doesn’t really look like the little macarons that we know in France. This one is chocolate and lúcuma-flavoured and is much bigger and gourmet. Its texture makes me think about a brownie, really soft! Interesting mix of cultures and flavours, the macaron could also be Peruvian! 😉