Connect to Peru

Where Americans and Peruvians Living Abroad Connect to Peru

How is Peru Celebrating “Pisco Day”?

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Tourists Enjoy Pisco Sours in Lima (Andina)

Tourists Enjoy Pisco Sours in Lima (Andina)

The Pisco Sour, the most symbolic beverage of Peru and considerd a “national cultural patrimony”, will be starring this weekend’s crowded festivals in Peru, with thousands of free tastings, contests and dances throughout the country, as the largest Peruvian newspaper El Comercio reports.

Many activities, such as free tastings, competitions and dances are taking place in the capital city of Lima, and throughout the nation since Thursday, February 5 thru tomorrow Sunday, February 8.

In Lima, the Municipality of Surco, Peru’s Ministry of Production and the National Commission of Pisco (Conapisco) will host the 6th National Pisco Sour Festival at the Parque de la Amistad in Surco district.

Andina news reports:

Visitors will have the opportunity to sample Peru’s flagship drink and enjoy a series of artistic and cultural activities. The festival will open at 12:00 (local time) with a Pisco Sour toast and thereafter local authorities will unveil a bust of Victor Morris, creator of the original Pisco Sour recipe.

At 15:00, several young students will participate in a Pisco Sour contest; while at 18:00, the “Pisco Sour: History and Tradition” book by Guillermo Díaz Vera will be presented.

Afterwards, Peruvian historian Luis Repetto, journalist Raul Vargas and deputy foreign minister Gonzalo Gutiérrez will comment on certain particulars of this book.

The Pisco Sour contest will continue on Saturday, Feb. 7, at 15:00 with the professional category and then Creole singer Cecilia Barraza will perform for the audience at 21:30.

The celebrations will end on Sunday, Feb 8, at 15:00 with the final of the Pisco Sour contest in the champions category. All these shows and activities are free.

The Parque de la Amistad (Friendship Park) is located in the Limean district of Surco, a block from the intersection of Benavides and Caminos del Inca Avenues.

In the provinces of Peru, many free demonstrations will take place this weekend, as well as dances and all kinds of activities to promote the Pisco Sour.

In the southern region of Ica, where the pisco originated, visitors will receive 3,000 free Pisco Sour drinks, and the Pisco Producers Association will elect its “Queen of the Pisco”.

Contests will take place where bartenders, chefs, students or fans will prepare their own recipes and look to win the prize for the “Best Pisco Sour”.

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Written by Catherine Castro

February 7, 2009 at 3:52 pm

Posted in drinks, Events, News, Travel

Tagged with , , , , , ,

Where to Celebrate “Pisco Day” in the U.S., by Macchu Pisco CEO and Owner Melanie Asher

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melanie3Our friend and owner of Macchu Pisco Melanie Asher provides a list of the hottest places in the main U.S. cities to celebrate “Pisco Day” this weekend. Here is the list and a link to their websites to get more information!

In New York: PDT (113 St. Marks Pl., in the East Village) or Yerba Buena (23 Avenue A)

In Washington, DC: The Gibson (2009 14th St. NW, in the U Street area), Bar Pilar (1833 14th St NW, in the U Street area) or Las Canteras (in Adams Morgan)

In Virginia: PX Lounge (in Alexandria) or The Majestic (in Alexandria)

In Maryland: Aroma (in Olney)

In Boston: The Four Seasons (200 Boylston Street) and Eastern Standard (528 Commonwealth Ave)

In Las Vegas: Sushi Samba (3325 Las Vegas Blvd. South)

And, to this list I’d also add:

In Boston: Taranta (North End) and Orinoco (22 Harvard Street in Brookline, or 477 Shawmut Avenue in downtown).

Happy Pisco Day, and thanks to Melanie for sharing these tips with Macchu Pisco fans!

Written by Catherine Castro

February 7, 2009 at 2:15 pm

“Pisco Day” Special Weekend Edition: Sour Haas Pisco Drink Recipe Exclusively From Las Canteras Restaurant

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Sour Haas

"Sour Haas" by Las Canteras Restaurant (Washington, DC)

It’s finally here! Every first Saturday in February, Pisco Day is celebrated in Peru and around the world to commemorate such a delicious liqueur, and the basis for preparing what people are claiming to be the hottest drink in 2009: the Pisco Sour.

Throughout this weekend, we will be publishing several pisco-related posts to celebrate this special day, including pisco recipes exclusively from Gary Lee – the co-owner of Washington, DC-based Peruvian restaurant Las Canteras – who is an expert on creating innovative pisco-based drink recipes, exclusive interviews, as well as tips on where to get good pisco sours, among other fun things.

This morning, we are kicking off the Pisco Day Special Edition with a recipe for Sour Haas, named after Hass avocados, one of the key ingredients. It’s designed to be a delicate balance between avocado, mint, pineapple juice and Pisco. Thanks to Gary for sharing this recipe with us! DO try it at home…or stop by tonight at Las Canteras restaurant to get it straight from Gary!

Sour Haas Recipe (1 serving)

Ingredients: four teaspoons of ripe avocado, eight leaves of mint, two and a half ounces of Pisco, two ounces of pineapple juice, two teaspons of simple syrup, and a scoop of ice.
 
Muddle the mint gently in a cocktail shaker. Mash the avocado into the mint with the muddler. Add the Pisco,  juice, simple syrup and ice and shake very well. The avocado and mint should be blended nicely together. 
 
Serve in a highball glass, garnished with a sprig of mint.

Enjoy!

Written by Catherine Castro

February 6, 2009 at 11:04 pm

Update from our Argentinean Blogger Friend Seba on his Trip to Peru

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sebaWe just got a message from our Argentinean blogger friend Seba as he is back in Argentina after a couple of weeks vacation in Peru — a trip he just did following our posting about a northern Peruvian beach called Cabo Blanco where Ernest Hemingway got inspiration from to write his book “The Old Man and the Sea”.

Here is a translation of his comment posted this morning:

“Well, I am back in Argentina since yesterday, will be a week of reaccomodating myself to work but I promise a super post next week. Your country (Peru) is really beautiful, with things to discover in every single corner, and, as an extra gift, with prices really but really cheap. Hugs and thanks for everything!”

Looking forward to reading all the details about his experience in Peru next week!

Written by Catherine Castro

February 5, 2009 at 10:00 am

Calling Las Vegas, New York and Miami…Gaston Acurio’s Peruvian Cuisine is on the Way!

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Traditional Lomo Saltado

Traditional Lomo Saltado

According to today’s Associated Press story published in today’s Florida’s Sun Sentinel newspaper, Gaston Acurio – one of Peru’s top chefs and one of the leaders in Peruvian cuisine around the world – announced his empire will be opening more La Mar seafood restaurant locations in Las Vegas, New York and Miami.

As the article states,

“Acurio hopes to inundate the U.S. and European markets with his brands, from a mall-friendly stuffed potato franchise to microwavable Peruvian favorites and seasonings for grocers. Acurio says investors have been eager to back his projects.”

Acurio brings the best of Peruvian cuisine to the palate of the international gastronomy fans — also named “neo Peruvian cuisine” which is a bit different from what traditional native Peruvian cuisine is all about. So how do you know which one is which? Might be a bit tough if you are not Peruvian or you don’t have a Peruvian friend at your table. Let’s see…I will show you the difference from visuals that might help for one of Peruvian cuisine’s most traditional dishes, the Lomo Saltado. The photo above is the traditional-styled Lomo Saltado which is more home-y, more rustically served, this is how Peruvians eat it every day. Now check the picture in the AP story and you will see it is a bit more refined and styled up. Neither of them are right or wrong, just two different styles. If you want to have the authentic one, you might want to try the traditional style of course. That is how many Peruvians have enjoyed their cuisine for many generations.

There is no question about how Acurio’s efforts have benefited and promoted tremendously the Peruvian gastronomic art (yes, it is an art) around the world. And if you want to learn more about Gaston Acurio, get a refresher of the postings I did earlier, one on his new La Mar restaurant opening in California, and another posting about its ratings.

Look forward to trying the new locations! And if you are a local in any of these three cities, let us know how was your experience!

Written by Catherine Castro

February 5, 2009 at 8:37 am

British Woman to Trek the Peruvian Andes to Raise Money for Mental Health Charity

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treking1Great to read that Peru’s geographic landscape will be witnessing such a nice gesture for mentally disabled people in the UK.

Sara Burden, a woman native from Belper, United Kingdom, will be treking the Peruvian Andes in September 2009 to raise funds for the Mental Health Foundation, a

Burden states in the article:

“The trek is seven days across the Andes. We will trek for eight or nine hours a day and will train for 16 weeks.”

How can you support her? If you are in the UK, you might want to stop by at her art auction at “The Little Gallery” on Bridge Street from February 7 – 21.

Good luck on your treking adventure in Peru, and congratulations on such a nice gesture!

Written by Catherine Castro

February 4, 2009 at 9:03 am

First Shipments of Peru-US Exchanged Goods Arrive to/Depart from Peru

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The first goods exchanged between Peru and the U.S. around the recently signed Free Trade Agreement arrived to Peru and were shipped to the U.S., correspondingly, according to an article in El Comercio.

In a historic celebration, the first shipment coming from the U.S. to Peru’s international port of Callao arrived yesterday Monday, February 2 including apples from California worth US$17,542. And the first shipment of Peruvian textiles to the U.S. left Callao.

The vast majority of goods coming from the U.S. to Peru free of customs charges include complementary and industrial goods, supplies, and machinery for Peruvian producers.

The U.S. is Peru’s largest commercial partner. In average, trade among both countries reaches nearly US$ 9.4 billion per year.

Click here to watch a news video on this relevant trade accomplishment for both countries.

Key US-Peru trade facts, according to El Comercio:

  • Since last Sunday, products imported to Peru from the U.S. are entering free of customs — in the past they included a 9% or 17% customs charge.
  • In 2008, 18% of the US$31,163 million of total Peruvian exports were shipped to the U.S.
  • In the following months, the Free Trade Agreements with Canada, Singapore, China and Chile will become effective.

Written by Catherine Castro

February 3, 2009 at 10:29 pm