Monday, November 09, 2009

Tasting Notes: La Paz, Bolivia

First, a map! The pins indicate where we've been so far: Lima and Cuzco (both in Peru), and Copacabana and La Paz, Bolivia. Click to enlarge.

Yay Geography!

We've been in La Paz for three days and as usual, our favourite part of the city is the food, especially the street food. On our first morning we passed a woman selling fruit salad: chunks of papaya and banana piled into small plastic cups. I bought one for a single Boliviano, or a whopping 15¢. (It turns out banana is especially delicious when it's marinated in papaya juice.) Fifteen cents will also buy an ice cream cone (with a scoop each of grape and banana or vanilla and coconut, and drizzled with chocolate sauce), a good-sized hunk of banana bread, a slice of the sweetest watermelon ever, or a cinnamon popsicle. Or you could use that same 15¢ to buy a couple of oh-so-fresh donuts, made by a woman sitting on the sidewalk with a pot of hot oil, a bag of dough, and a shaker of powdered sugar.

We've also enjoyed fresly-squeezed grapefruit juice (45¢), salteñas and tucumanas (delicious empanada-like pastries originally from the Salta and Tucuman regions of Argentina, respectively) for about 30¢ apiece, and this afternoon we ate a tasty pork sandwich replete with carrots, tomatoes, and spicy pepper sauce. It ran us 3 Bolivianos--the equivalent of 45¢.

Our favourite breakfast is at the Lanza Market, where a dozen or so women each have small stands, each with a table about the size of a diner booth tucked in behind it. Any of these women will make you a mean fried-egg sandwich with avocado, garnished with slices of ripe tomato and fresh white cheese on a crusty French roll. Two of these with a couple of cups of café con leche can be had for just over $2.

Tonight we splurged on dinner at our Irish-run hostel, and ordered up some very non-Bolivian bangers and mash. The huge (and very delicious) plate set us back $4, and it was worth every Boliviano.

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