Que lo hace realmente especial al “Jugo Especial” de Peru?

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(Estimado tiempo para leer el texto: 7 minutos)

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La comida peruana es mundialmente famosa y especial. Elogié en un artículo antes el gusto de la cocina peruana. Escribí un articulo en Inglés sobre mis 10 platos favoritos del país andino. Definitivamente vale la pena leerlo cuando tendrías más tiempo. Mejor vamos a continuar con este artículo sobre el famoso jugo especial de Peru.


10 best Peruvian dishes you should try before you die

The Peruvian kitchen is world famous and a culinary delight for even the most critical gourmets. During my time in Peru I had the joy to discover a lot of brilliant flavors, aromatic spices and tasty sauces in a variety of excellent dishes. Therefore, it’s not an accident, that the Peruvian kitchen is seen as the…


Pero ¿qué pasa con las bebidas peruanas, también pueden ser especiales? ¿Y es una buena idea llamar a un batido un ‘Jugo Especial’? Y aún más importante: ¿Que hace realmente especial al “Jugo Especial” peruano?
 
Durante uno de mis últimos días en Perú, estaba visitando uno de los muchos mercados en Lima. Lo que realmente me gusta de este tipo de mercados no son solo los precios bajos que paga por todo tipo de alimentos básicos. No, es aún mejor, que muchos pequeños empresarios manejan sus negocios de forma independiente y venden lo que las personas necesitan. En comparación con las grandes cadenas de supermercados nacionales como Plaza Vea, Tottus y Wong, uno tiene este enfoque de cliente individual y también apoya la comida local.

Multicentro La Capullana en Surco

Sin embargo, el ‘Multicentro La Capullana’ se encuentra en la Avenida Ramón Castilla en Santiago de Surco. Muy cerca de mi antiguo alojamiento y a menos de 10 minutos a pie. Me gustaba caminar por las mañanas o a media mañana y comprar algunas cosas que necesitaba. Desde el exterior, no lo reconoces ó parece realmente como un mercado, o (como dicen) un “multicentro”:


la capullana market

Pero desde el interior te quedarás definitivamente encantado con todos los fruteros, verduleros, carniceros, comerciantes en general, etc. y sus verduras, frutas y otros productos frescos que venden. Lo que realmente me gustó fue su esfuerzo por diseñar sus productos de una manera presentable:



Realmente no sé cuánto tiempo pasó con equilibrar y ordenar todas las fresas, pero realmente respeto el esfuerzo para que acomodarlos bien. Si recuerdo de todos los paquetes de plástico que usamos en Europa para tener la cantidad correcta y mantenerlos duraderos, siempre preferiré esta versión fresca e individual.​

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¿Jugo especial? ¿Por qué especial?

No obstante, todas mis visitas a este mercado procedieron cronológicamente de la misma manera. Entré en el mercado y antes de comenzar a comprar todo tipo de cosas bonitas, me paraba en la pequeña tienda junto a la entrada para obtener un jugo recién exprimido. Aquí puede tener las mezclas más sanas de todo tipo de frutas exóticas y genéricas. Usualmente prefería los de durazno y mandarinas / naranjas.
 
La mayoría de los prejuicios y preocupaciones de este tipo de mercados en los países de América del Sur son que el nivel de higiene es más bajo que los estándares en los países europeos y occidentales y que es más fácil recibir algunas bacterias debido a condiciones de suciedad. Debo decir que este prejuicio no está justificado, porque nunca vi un nivel de higiene estándar más alto por parte de todos los demás que antes me estaban sirviendo un jugo:



Pero un jugo en su menú fue simplemente llamado “Jugo especial” sin ninguna explicación adicional. Esto ya me dio curiosidad, porque quieres saber por supuesto qué tiene de especial este zumo, respectivamente, cuales ingredientes hacen que este zumo sea especial. Era más caro que todos los otros jugos y eso me llamó la atención también. Es por eso que pedí un “Jugo Especial”.

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Lo que realmente hace que este jugo sea un jugo especial

No fueron las frutas como la papaya, la fresa y el plátano. Mi curiosidad fue saciada cuando observé a la dama preparando mi jugo especial. Ella puso muchas cosas inusuales en la licuadora, que la mayoría de la gente preferiría usar para preparar pasteles. Junto a un torrente de leche de vaca y un huevo (!), Llenó un almíbar de algarrobo negro, miel de abeja natural y esencia de vainilla. Se agregó un chorro de cerveza negra (!!) para redondear todo y agregar aún más calorías. Solo para estar seguro, que no me moriré de hambre después de tomarlo.



De la antigua expectativa de un jugo puro, me presentaron ahora un híbrido de batido de leche / bomba de calorías. No solo la existencia pura me dejó sin palabras, sino que también fue la mera cantidad. Pagué por un “Jugo Especial” y casi obtuve un litro de bebida exagerada. Por supuesto, era demasiado para un vaso, por eso la señora lo puso en dos vasos grandes. Muy generosos estos peruanos!


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Si quieres escuchar mi opinión gourmet, escucha el siguiente video:



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Una extraña explosión de sabores entró en mis sentidos, afrutada, dulce, cremosa y sabrosa al mismo tiempo. Para no insultar al barman, me vi obligado a terminar los dos vasos. No quería ser grosero al salir de la tienda después de tomarlo. Pero después de tomar ambos vasos, ya tenía suficientes calorías para dos comidas y me tambaleé a casa con una sensación de saciedad.


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What makes the Peruvian ‘Jugo Especial’ really special?

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(Approximate reading time: 6 minutes)

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Peruvian food is world famous and special. I lauded in an article before the HQ-tastiness of the Peruvian kitchen. If you have some additional time, you should definitely read the following article about my top 10 Peruvian dishes:


10 best Peruvian dishes you should try before you die

The Peruvian kitchen is world famous and a culinary delight for even the most critical gourmets. During my time in Peru I had the joy to discover a lot of brilliant flavors, aromatic spices and tasty sauces in a variety of excellent dishes. Therefore, it’s not an accident, that the Peruvian kitchen is seen as the…


But what about Peruvian beverages, can they also be special? And is it a good idea to call a shake a ‘Special Juice’?

During one of my last days in Peru, I was visiting one of many street markets in Lima. What I really like from these types of markets are not only the minor prices you pay for all sorts of staple food. No, it’s even better, that many small entrepreneurs run their independently business and sell whatever people need. In comparison to the big national supermarket chains Plaza Vea, Tottus and Wong, you have this individual customer approach and support local food as well.

Multicentro La Capullana

However, the ‘Multicentro La Capullana’ is located on Avenida Ramón Castilla in Santiago de Surco. Very close to my former accommodation and less than 10 minutes walking distance away. I liked to walk there in the mornings or mid-mornings and buy a few things I need. From the outside, you don’t really recognize it as a market, or (as they say) a ‘multicentro’:


la capullana market

But from the inside you will be definitely delighted about all the fruiterers, green-grocers, butchers, general dealers, etc. and their fresh and promising vegetables, fruits and other goods they sell. What I really like was their effort to design their commodities in a presentable way:



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I don’t really know, how much time she spent with balancing and ordering all the strawberries, but I really respect her efforts to let it look good. If I remember all the plastic packages we use in Europe to have the right quantity and keep them durable, I will always prefer this version.

¿Jugo especial? Why special?

Nonetheless, every of my visits at this market proceeded chronologically the same. I entered the market and before I started to buy randomly all sorts of nice things, I stopped at the little store next to the entry to obtain a freshly pressed juice. Here you could have the healthiest mixes of all sorts of exotic and generic fruits. I usually preferred the ones with peach and mandarins/oranges.

Most of the prejudices and concerns of these types of markets in South American countries are, that the level of hygiene is lower than the standards in European and Western countries and that it is easier to pick up some bacteria due to dirty conditions. I must say, that this prejudice is unjustified, because I never saw a higher standard level of hygiene from everyone else who was serving me a juice before:



But one mixed juice on their menu was simply called “Jugo especial” (special juice) without any further explication. Already this made me curious, because you want to find out, what is so special about this juice, respectively which ingredients make this juice special. It was more expensive than all other juices and that raised as well my attention. That’s why I ordered one “Jugo Especial”.

What really makes this juice a special juice

It was not the fruits like papaya, strawberry and banana. My curiosity got satisfied when I observed the lady preparing my special juice. She put a lot of unusual things into the blender, that most people would rather use to prepare pastries. Next to a torrent of cow milk and an egg (!), she filled in syrup of black carob tree, natural bee honey and vanilla extract. A shot of black beer (!!) was added to round it all up and admix even more calories. Just to be sure, that I won’t starve after drinking.



From the former expectation of a pure juice, I was presented now a milkshake/calorie bomb hybrid. Not only the pure existence made me speechless, it was also the sheer quantity. I paid for one “Jugo Especial” and almost got one litre of an overblown drink. It was of course too much for one glass, that’s why the lady put it into two big glasses. Very generous these Peruvians!

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If you want to hear my gourmet judgement, please listen to the following video:



A weird explosion of tastes entered my senses, fruity and sweet and creamy and savoury at the same time. To not insult the barkeeper, I was kind of obliged to finish both glasses. Didn’t want to be rude to leave the store after one drink. But after incorporating both glasses, I had already enough calories for two meals and lurched home with a surfeited feeling in my paunch.


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What you definitely should drink during your stay in Arequipa

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(Approximate reading time: 6 minutes)

In my last article I focused on the Andean kitchen and the culinary specialities from Arequipa. Now I would like to write about the typical beverages that you can order in this city. There were some gastronomic specialities, that surprised me. And some even made me tipsy.

Generally spoken I can tell, that Peruvians like to drink beer. Next to the three national distributed lager beers Cusqueña, Cristal and Pilsen, there are also a few local lager beers to try depending on every region. The trend in Peru nowadays goes a little bit away from the industrial fermented beers and more to the handcrafted beers. Especially in Lima I visited several bars who are specialized in these types of beers, but also every better situated restaurant is equipped with at least one artiasnal beer on the menu.

Mi Kcao has a lot of local drinks from Arequipa to offer

You will find a lot of colonial buildings around the main square. One very hidden spot was a place called “Mi Kcao”. The clue is in the name here: They specialize on coffee and chocolate specialities. Although situated in the heart of the historical city centre, it has a contorted entrance and little garden where you can enjoy your drinks without the traffic noises from the street. It’s nice to have a drink in the sun and don’t get bothered from the usual chaos out on the streets. In Mi Kcao I was trying a few of these artisanal beers.

The left one, ‘Colla Stout’, had a nice chocolate flavor and smoky aftertaste. Other than that, the right beer, ‘Maracuja Ale Pampeña’, was based on passion fruit, which gave it a fruity but not sweet taste. Both breweries are from Arequipa, which is one argument more to try out a local drink.

A coffee with anis liqueur?!

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Yes, what you already read in the headline is nothing more than the truth. I went to a café and asked for recommendations about a typical hot drink from Arequipa. The waiter told me, that I should try ‘Misti El Loncco’ and he warned me about the strong flavor it got from the anise liqueur. “No problem” I thought with my brave mind! I already drank before the strong anise spirits Ouzo and Zipporo from Greece and thought that I’m prepared for what was coming.

Not sure, if the waiter wanted to impress me or if he simply didn’t like strangers. But this hot drink tasted like petroleum and not like coffee. It was really strong sh*t and probably for the first time since ages that I didn’t enjoy my cup of coffee. Well, I usually don’t booze it up with any alchemical stuff.

Fun Fact about the name itself: ‘Misti El Loncco’ has its name from the local volcano Misti. Loncco is the local expression for a peasant. For me it looks more like the volcano and I also felt flaming eruption braising out of my face. ‘Misti El Loncco’ consists of:

РCoffee from arabic beans from the local Arequipan producer Caf̩ Valenzuela (which has nothing to do with Venezuela)
– dry anise liqueur
– sweet anise liqueur
– cream
– cinnamon powder

A tasty black corn juice quenches my thirst

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Usually I am not a fan of sweet drinks. Soft drinks and lemonades are too often responsible for creating my thirst, but not for quenching it. A lot of additional sugar doesn’t help either and alienates an authentic taste. Same with juices, if they are sugar-coated and you don’t taste the fruit itself but only sugar.

Now the surprise about this drink here is that it’s classified as a juice, but comes actually from corn. Black corn to be honest. I thought until trying my first “Chicha de Guiñapo”, that juices are always made out of fruits. But Arequipa taught me something new! And it taught me, that corn can taste quite refreshing and naturally sweet in liquid form.

Additional information about this mysterious Guiñapo are difficult to obtain. It doesn’t even have an own Wikipedia page to snoop for more input. In an old online article from a Peruvian newspaper I read, that it is since centuries a traditional beverage from Arequipa and needs more than 24 hours to be prepared.

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The herbal Emoliente will warm you up in the cold nights

This lady on the video prepared a nice and warm drink in the street called Emoliente. It’s a drink that is prepared on the basis of roasted barley grains, extracts of medicinal herbs, sugar and lemon juice. Among the most used herbs are horsetail, flaxseed, alfalfa, plantain and boldo. Some herbs are that typical, that an English translation doesn’t even exist.

Emoliente is not a typical drink from Arequipa, but the special version of Arequipa contains local herbs and spices, that you might not be able to try in other cities. Really surprising was the fact, that the cookee told me, that they are according to the official license only allowed to sell this drink after 6pm. “Juice in the mornings, Emoliente in the evenings” she explained. I don’t know how Arequipa surprised me with this fact more: That they set up these strict regulations or that they even follow them consequently.

Although you can order this drink in other cities, the people from Arequipa seem to have a sincere relationship to that drink: They even dedicate a whole day to Emoliente. The 20th of February will be the fete day, when you can meet several hundred producers of Emoliente in the city center.

I hope, that you liked my article about the typical beverages from Arequipa and hope that you can answer me the following question:

If there are food tourists, am I only a beverage tourist?

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