Sunday, November 07, 2010

The Color Purple

Mazamorra morada-purple corn and fruit, and
Arroz con Leche-rice pudding

Giant niblets...

More tripe?

Si, more tripe por favor

'Caballo Viejo'



Black sausage, chicharrones, a side of spaghetti...

....and a little more tripe

The Peruvian festival that winds through DC's Adams Morgan neighborhood every year is a reminder of the diversity that makes this community so endearing; and a personal reminder to me that my Spanish really needs work. There is a parade up Columbia Road, with the men carrying the enormous altar, the elegiac lament of a 15-piece band, and rows of robed women swinging heavily smoking thuribles, bringing an ethereal air to this gray stretch of low-rises and neighborhood mom-and-pops. This goes on for hours, as the parade stops every block or two for everyone to catch their breath, and for the occasional performance of cowboy on horseback dancing with girl who is not on horseback (you have to see it). During a lull, I dropped into the park to sample some of the food-there were over fifty vendors, almost all selling homemade Peruvian dishes-my favorites are the freshly fried donuts called picarones, and the rice pudding (arroz con leche) served with the purple corn pudding called mazamorra morada. Also tried the leche asada (baked flan), bread pudding (budin), another kind of flan, and a new favorite, keke de coco. I just love the name.

As one can see, I'm big on desserts these days, although of course there was plenty of tripe, beef heart, giant corn, potato dishes, and ceviches, that together make Peruvian cuisine one of the most multifaceted and underrated ethnic foods in this hemisphere. So I raise my flan to Hermandad del SeƱor De Los Milagros, and to the purple corn and potatoes of Peru.

Inhaling grill smoke, and the proper way to top picarones