Hello lovely blogosphere!
Wrapping up yet another week in Lima today…this one was quite pleasant, as for the last half a month I was weighed down by the stress of exams and I now have a week or two to breathe. Nothing particularly eventful happened–Wednesday night after my class finished, I went to my Norwegian friend’s apartment, as her visiting Norwegian friend who I had met last week was leaving on Thursday. We had a lovely dinner (well, second dinner, for me, as I didn’t know I was going over there until about 9 PM) of pasta with chicken and peppers, and I stayed there talking with them and my Norwegian friend’s two German roommates until about 2 AM. Whoops. Luckily they live quite nearby so it didn’t take long to pop home.
Thursday was class as usual, I was quite tired but forced myself to stay on campus and make some good headway in homework for several hours. In the evening I went to Ali Baba’s with yet another Norwegian friend (seriously, whodathunk that they all flock to Lima?!) , where we once again managed to talk forever over hummus, falafel, aaaaand the world’s best taqueños (fried wontons with salty cheese and a very salty, yet savory avocado dipping sauce. Mmm…I really need to photograph those sometime. SO GOOD.)
Anyway. My posts recently, I have noticed, have been obscenely long in writing, so I thought I’d switch things up a bit with a lighter post. So, here I’m going to post photos (taken from the web-I have no room on my laptop for such trivial things) of my favorite Peruvian junk foods–aka, chocolate, for the most part. It’s still a long post, but…it’s just a bunch of pictures and light descriptions of candy. So…yeah. In the past I have already posted about some things like Inka Kola and Bon o Bon truffles, if you feel like re-visiting those…and here are some more of my/Peruvians’ typical sweets:
Bon o Bon Products:
Right, so the little yellow-wrapped truffles are the main selling point for this peanut-butter-filled-chocolate, but they’ve also got about a million spinoff products as well–not all of which are sold in Peru, according to all of these new things I’m finding when googling images. I’ve also tried the chocolate-filled version of the truffles, which I was admittedly not overwhelmed with although it was fine, and have tried the bar-form of the chocolate (highly recommended–the peanut butter is seriously creamy inside!) and today tried one of the chocolate-covered alfajores, which are basically two shortbread cookies and inside have peanut butter instead of dulce de leche. (Actually tastes just like whatever those Girl Scout cookies are with peanut butter!) Admittedly none of these products taste quite like Reese’s, because, unlike the American counterpart, this particular chocolate covered candy has SWEETENED peanut butter, rather than more savory. But I’m a big fan overall! (Note: They have a bunch of white-chocolate products too. But I hate white chocolate, so…haven’t messed with those.)
A play on the Spanish word vicio, meaning ‘vice’, these sweet milk-chocolate covered almonds certainly are. They are absolutely ADDICTING and I can never stop popping them into my mouth when I buy them. Thank goodness they come in small bags! They’re the perfect sweet bite with just the right ratio (aka high) of chocolate to almond. They also come in ‘bitter’ (which is what Peruvians call dark chocolate) but I’ve not tried those yet as I can only find them in boxes of larger sizes…which I certainly do not need to be buying. Also, advertisements for this candy are ALL OVER Lima/the billboards here. So you’re constantly reminded to stock up.
Definitely a banner-product of Peru (though, ironically, made by Nestlé), this milk-chocolate, peanut-filled candy is probably the most popular here, followed closely by Vizzio. I say this because it’s the only one you can ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS find, including in vending machines (which tend to sell things like chips more than chocolate). For me, these are a solid source of chocolate in times of need, but I’d rather have actual peanut butter inside than just the nuts. The typical styles seen in Peru are the normal size (middle left), ‘extremo’ (called such because it’s large) and the one that is marked ‘nuevo’ actually no longer IS ‘nuevo’ (new), but it’s basically a thinner elongated bar as opposed to a square. They also make wafers now, which I haven’t tried, and JUST released chocolate covered almonds–but frankly, Vizzio still has them beat there in my opinion. For the record, I have never seen the so called “cool” version pictured above.
Princesa, another Nestlé product, is yet another milk-chocolate bar filled with peanut butter. (It’s so odd to me that there are so many peanut butter byproducts here, because I’ve never met a Peruvian who actually LIKED/frequently ate peanut butter, although you can find it in stores.) Honestly I’ve tried these once or twice but can’t seem to recall anything special about them…bon o bon bars left a much stronger imrpession in my mind, so if I want a peanut butter filled chocolate and don’t want to splurge on a Reese’s, that’s what I go for.
Okay kids. This is where we get serious. Why? Because this. Is. My. Downfall. When I was in Jordan, I was ADDICTED to Kinderbars. Here? Triangulos of the Cappucino flavor. (Top in the photo). These long, thin bars of chocolate seriously have a bit of an expresso/coffee flavor in them that I CAN NOT get enough of. The most popular flavor is actually just plain milk chocolate (which is also sold in mini size) and it’s perfectly fine, but nothing special in the world of chocolate. Once, out of curiosity, I bought the milk chocolate-white chocolate mixed bar…but as already mentioned, I don’t like white chocolate (it’s not real chocolate!) so, never repeated that. The cappucino bars, though…oh man. Triangulos are actually made by D’onofrio, which…actually is the local Peruvian branch of Nestlé. (Are we seeing a pattern here?!) Aside from the other products already mentioned on this page, D’onofrio is also famous for Inka Kola and basically any ice cream product you buy in Peru that isn’t from an ice cream parlour or café or something.
Nik (Creme-Filled Wafer Cookies):
So, I picked the brand “Nik” because those are the kind I usually buy, but there are A MILLION other brands sold here. Honestly, Peruvians eat a LOT, I mean a LOT of pre-packaged foods and snacks, especially when it comes to shortbread cookies, crackers of any kind, and wafers. Whenever I go to a vending machine, I’m the kind of person who leans towards sweets, like chocolate…they tend to have more soda crackers or bags of popped corn (read, ‘popped corn’, not ‘popcorn’. Very different.) and whatnot. Basically the Peruvian versions of oreos…although they eat a lot of oreos here too. Anywho, these wafers are yummy, especially the strawberry flavor, but I don’t really know what to say other than…they’re filled wafer cookies. And hey, while I’m at it:
Field Vanilla Cookies:
Like I said, pre-packaged goods. These vanilla cookies are usually what I buy to dip in my tea, because…I like to dip things in tea. They’re lighter than shortbread cookies but sweeter than crackers…dunno how to put it otherwise? Taste the same as vanilla wafers in the USA. I also frequently buy some flower-shaped shortbread cookies in a green package called ‘Magdalena’ but it’s damn impossible to find a picture of them on the internet, because ‘Magdalena’ is the Spanish translation of “Madeline” which, as some of you may know, is a different type of cookie all together, much more famous worldwide.
Anyway, those are just some examples of the things that usually end up in my shopping cart or that I buy off of the ENDLESS snack carts that are on literally every corner or block of the entire city. There are so many more typical things sold here on those carts, but I don’t usually buy the more savory things because I do TRY to keep my body a little clean of junk food–I just have zero ability to resist in the face of sweets.
Several American candy bars (mostly Snickers, Twix, M&M’s, Mars bars–especially the dark chocolate ones–and sometimes Reese’s) and certain other snack products (Ritz crackers, Oreos, etc) are also sold here frequently, but I try to avoid those because I can always get them back home, and compared to the price of the Peruvian chocolates (usually 1-1.5 Soles..which is like $0.60 at the most) they’re more expensive.
…Except those days when you just need a damn Reese’s. Know what I’m sayin’?
Crap, people. Now I want chocolate. Perhaps a trip to the grocery store is in order…(?)