Revolution In Chorrillos, Lima, Peru!Thu 31 May 2012
Story by Karla Gabaldoni
We had to bump up our Food Revolution Day because had a trip out of town on the 19th. We chose Wednesday in the evening and with a few emails, the event posted online and several initial ideas for the plates, we began to receive confirmations from neighbors and close friends. The overwhelmingly positive initial response got us even more excited for the event and we opened the doors to invite more people. The large amount of interest really struck me as incredible – the RSVPs did not stop coming as friends and friends of our friends joined the list of invitees.
Starting The Day At The Local Food Market
Finally the day arrived – I began early to visit the local market just 5 blocks from my house – which never had looked as lovely! Feeling like a blogger as I snapped photographs, I was able to really look at each fruit and vegetable consciously, each person who works in the market, and each of the humble people that buy from them.
My idea was to make a fresh pasta salad with roasted zucchini, eggplants and peppers from a simple recipe but gradually evolved as I found more incredible things to add to it (and when the eggplants didn’t appear to be perfect). Most notably, aside from the lovely splendor that is Peruvian cuisine, is that I only spent 70 soles (about $26 USD or €17.5) and bought:
2 medium broccolis, 2 Kg bag of huamantangas potatoes, 2 medium broccolis, 2 Kg bag of red potatoes, 2 medium broccolis, 1 giant cauliflower, 3 caihua, 3 perfect artichokes, 2 Kg bag of red potatoes, Red onions, 2 Kg bag of black potatoes, 2 Kg bag of huamantangas potatoes, 2 Kg of sweet potatoes, 2 Kg yuccas, Ajíes limos (Peruvian chilis), Yellow ajíes, 1.5 Kg cherimoyas, 1 Kg mandarins, 1 kg of delicious apples, 1 Kg ollucos, 12 baby bananas, 5 bars of fresh butter, 2 Kg purple corn, 1 zucchini, Emoliente (typical herbal mixed concoction), 3 avocadoes, 1 turnip, 3 rocoto (Peruvian spicy peppers), 2 leeks and 3 bell peppers
On the morning of the day of the event we decorated our home with vegetables and fruits – no flowers allowed - that we had bought in the market, everything fresh, fantastic and colorful. With only a few hours stolen between the office and the event - I was struck by a moment of creative inspiration and felt so happy as we decorated! I had never organized a party so easy with zero stress (having only made the pasta salad with grilled vegetables, and a yogurt based, cherimoya dessert and a cold iced tea with herbs from my garden, a homemade bread that I simply popped in the oven to bake. Everything came together magically. It was marvelous.
Sharing Real Foods
The people arrived one by one carrying their dishes - The solterito de Lisa, the papa a la huancaína de Carlos, the quinoa tabouleah of Adrienne and Gehron and another of Carla, the carrot and caihua salad from Fernando, the fruit with honey from Pilar, the guacamole and cheese with olives from Elke, Mia, Gael and Teo, the star fruit juice and arugula salad from the gardens of Adri, Vero and Umberto, the chocolate mousse of Rosi, Marie, Emily, Anouk y Aymeric, the garlic brazil nut chips from Sofia and Mauricio, the marvelous herbs from Norah. Along with the spiced cashews from Valerie, the grilled vegetables from Mariana and Edward, the fresh orange juce from Jenny and Fernando, the caramelized eggplants and goat cheese from Pati – everything was a revelation! Oh and of course the goat brie cheese with glazed rocotos from NOA and the peruvian wines from my mother and Sergio, and on and on. Everything simple and delicious: made from our own hands and with such love that you could taste it.
Providing Food Education
All the information that was provided through the Jaime Oliver website was very helpful and, inspired, I gave a small speech. I also printed some of the tables and information to place around my home for people to read. All the children gathered around activities, learning about the benefits of fresh fruit and vegetables.
For me it was a rich experience and it surprised me how these types of initiatives can provide education to the people that are so close to me! The only problem, in the end, was the large amount of dishwashing when it was all over! The solution is easy – next time ask guests to bring their own plates. Also, my children have suggested the following: Alec believes we should only make desserts – yum! And Kian wants to do a “judged” dinner party for kids with the winner receiving a prize!
The next day I repeated the event in my workshops of NOA, which was lovely. The women who work with me shared plates they had cooked at home and it was enjoyed by all. We have decided to repeat it all again.
Thank you guys for this fabulous idea!
About the author: I am 38 years old and was born a chef. When I needed to choose my major in University I did not have anywhere to go to study cooking and so I studied economics. I worked in banks for 4 years until my first son, Kian, was born. After his birth I decided to stay at home with him and cook at last! I began with home made hummus of various flavors, one of them being dried tomatoes - and so I entered the world of dried vegetables. I understood that the big enemy of packaged goods is water, and so dehydrated fruits and vegetables interested me. Today at noagourmet.com we work with various dried goods, which helps us improve the flavor of all our products. All of our products are made my hand and we don't use preservatives, dyes or chemicals of any kind. NOA is available in the main supermarkets of Lima, hotels, airport gift stores and many delis and small stores throughout Peru and Chile. We seek to create intelligent consumers at the moment of buying their food products, which we call "intelligent nutrition." We are constantly striving to support causes related to nutrition, locally and internationally.
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