Maybe you’ve already heard that Peru is South America’s gastronomic marvel. Indeed, Peru boasts some of the most diverse food in the whole world. This means that a Peruvian backpacking trip entails a culinary experience that will leave you hungry for more. You could travel to all reaches of Peru, which is a recommendable plan. However, if you’re strapped for time, then plan your trip to coincide with Lima’s Mistura food fest.
Mistura has been going on now for 3 years. Every year it’s attracting bigger and bigger names from around the globe. Mistura is a massive food festival where all the best food joints in Lima and from around the country gather to offer portions of their grub for a fraction of the normal price. It takes place in September just before springtime. The gray skies mean the sun won’t be blasting your neck all day while you walk to and from different food kiosks.
There is an entry fee to get in, but Pariwana has its own stash of tickets to make things easier for backpackers. Not all hostels in Lima can offer the same convenience. Pariwana already offers tours on a semi-daily basis, but this is one tour you’ll enjoy beyond expression.
You’ll arrive to the gates of the Parque de la Exposicion, the giant blown up yellow fork making you feel small. After walking under the fork entrance, you’ll purchase the tickets with which you procure your food. You can get full portions of dishes for 12 soles, but you should opt for portions at 6 sols so that you can try more food. Go with a friend to split the portions in half, that way you can try even more tasty treats!
There are a lot of things to see and do in Mistura. Over the 9 days that it’s held, over 300,000 people enter. There is a giant bazar to buy kitchenware, and an enormous market with products from all over the country. There are live cooking demonstrations by some of the country’s best chefs, and the restaurants everywhere you look.
You might prefer to arrive at the opening hour of 10am so that you can make the best of the 12 hours you have before closing time. There are too many dishes to try. You can read about all the restaurants on Mistura’s website. Just make sure to try a few of the staples. Ceviche, above all, will please you, as Mistura hosts some of the best cebiche restaurants.
In fact, you might very well choose to spend all your time in Mistura, returning day after day. It’s the perfect way to centralize a necessary Peruvian experience. Sweets, jungle food, rustic kitchens, juices, anticuchos and any other food you’ve seen on your Peruvian tour you should expect to see again here.
Mistura 2012 – 9 to 18 september – Lima, Peru