Amazonian breeze in the steel jungle.
Oh my lord this worm was delicious
Hard to chew on, originally, the hardest part was having it in my mouth while posing for the picture. Albeit it was fried, I’ll probably never be brave enough to ingest a gelatinous, living grub for pleasure. But I’m okay with that.
After a few hardworking days, punching in the card, working like a dog, your boyfriend’s paycheck comes in. Once he starts to pick up the hints, we go off to eat spectacular food in some shady market with colorful characters in the border of Surco & Barranco. Like the old humita vendor who keeps his star product warm so that when bought, are soft and strewn with tender queso fresco; alongside old favorites, such as the restaurant I was delighted to come across.
Brisas de Ucayali it was called. I was taken back by the large “batán” something of a grinding mechanism made of wood resembling a mortar & pestle, the grubs known as “zuri”, and the long line of people waiting to make a to-go order, while the lucky few were able to grab one of the 12 chairs along the border of the food stall. The fame of the establishment was so prosperous, that they even made enough to make another restaurant across the street. But the difference is well known, that the best food is served right in front of you, where you can take full advantage of all the aromas the dish has to offer. We began by ordering a tacacho w/ cecina and an Amazonian chorizo. Tacacho is basically a balance between fried mature and immature plantains, formed into a ball, while cecina is her eternal partner, a fried piece of cured wild jungle boar colored with annatto. He got a Chaufa Amazonica, or Amazonian stir-fried rice. Kept true with Chinese tradition to be tossed in a wok above an engrossing flame until colored with the delicate smoke of wok flavor penetrating deep into the rice. Mixed in with pieces of chorizo, cecina, fried egg and green onions. But for me, the highlight of the whole meal (apart from the powerfully pink vit.C power packed punch-like camu camu juice) was the fried “zuri.” The underground grub they raised on site with pieces of moist, rotting wood, and green plantains. As aforementioned, I’m not the kind of guy who will eat living grubs; it’s just not me. Thankfully they offered it fried so there was no need to look like a pansy in front of the chef. Crunchy with an elastic, chewy center, something like a melted cheese stick. It tasted of moist, forest floor overflowing with umami; so much so as to give off a sweet note at the end. It took me a few bites to get over the fact that, a grub was in my mouth, but I conquered my fear and was glad I did. So, as of now it’s only a matter of, when the next time will be. I’m hoping that after the 3rd or 4th try I can eat them without gagging.