Cultural appetite

During school this week we’ve been learning about South America. The countries, the climate, the culture…the culinary delights! One of the best ways to learn about a culture is to eat their food. In all of our progress, we Americans have become quite wimpy in what we will and won’t eat. Tripe, anyone?

Fortunately for our South American cuisine we only ventured as far as chicken. Pollo a la brasa, rotisserie chicken, is a Peruvian specialty and little Pollo restaurants dot the Northern Virginia culinary scene along with all the other ethnic restaurants from name-your-ethnicity. All of these chicken joints have cute little names that set them apart: Pollo Loco, Pollo Rico, Pollo Inka and Pollo Real. The restaurant we visited was named Crisp & Juicy. Yep. Had we not looked it up on UrbanSpoon I don’t know if we would have taken it seriously. It has a 93% approval rating so we gave it a try.

And I am so glad we did. It was delicious. The chicken was to die for, and as the restaurant promises, it is crisp and juicy. We had yucca fries and sweet potatoes as sides. The yucca fries look and taste almost exactly like french fries, just a little bit denser. I don’t know if sweet potatoes are south american but the fried plantains were out so we substituted. And it was on their menu, so we know they at least know about sweet potatoes. This is not my picture:

img from ata08 on flickr

The girls and I had papaya juice (from the USA) and Du was brave enough to try “Inca Kola”.

Coca Cola has its fingers in many a country, including those in South America (if you’ve been to the Coca Cola museum in Atlanta you’ve had a chance to taste all the different Coke products!). Inca Kola tastes like carbonated bubble gum. Du says it tastes like Big Red, which apparently is a Coke product you can get in Texas. Yummy.

So we now know that if we ever visit Peru we will like the food. Even the girls chowed down.

No homeschool lesson would be complete without a field trip! I think we’ll head into DC this weekend to visit the statue of Simon Bolivar, the “George Washington” of South America (Bolivar was even a Freemason!), who helped liberate the continent from its Spanish conquerors.

P.S. After our South American dinner we headed to an Armenian cafe for dessert. Nowhere near South America, but it couldn’t have been a better end to the night. An Armenian dessert with a chai latte. MMMMM!!!

P.P.S. I noticed today that some peppers I bought at the store the other day are of Peruvian origin:

Will wonders never cease…

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3 thoughts on “Cultural appetite

  1. When I was 12 we moved to Argentina for 2 years. It was there I learned to speak Spanish, ate “Beefe de Lomo” (sp?) and Dulce de Leche, yumm…oh and became the editor in chief of my 6th grade newspaper, the beginning of my life in journalism!
    Hope you’ll drop by the new blog, I posted about inner beauty and going green! Have a great weekend! 🙂

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