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Saturday, September 20, 2008

Day 7: Pucusana


Friday, Sept. 19
Pucusana, Peru

Mom-and-pop fishermen are known as "pescadores artesanales," a tribute to the craft of fishing without the militaristic gear of commercial boats. Here in Pucusana, a dry coastal village about 60 km south of Lima, the muelle chico (small wharf) is dominated by hand-painted wooden boats owned by fishing families.

The fishing may be small-scale, but the collective toll is significant. There aren't many big fish left here, one local explains, and the next generation may have an even smaller catch. Without regulations, the pescadores continue scooping up whatever they can; even the little fish can be chopped up and eaten in ceviche.

A note on ceviche: The Peruvian staple is made with chunks of raw fish and garlic-flavored lime, served with thinly sliced onion, cilantro and sides of fat Peruvian corn and sweet potato. I ask about the risk of parasites in the raw fish, but the locals answer, "It's not raw; it's cooked in lime." Peruvian limes have a really high acid content, they explain, which kills any little organisms that might be living on the flesh. I don't know if that's a safeguard against Bubble Guts, but the fish pieces do appear opaque on the outside.

My new Peruvian friends are quick to warn me that I shoudn't trust the Chilean ceviche, because they use a weaker lime. It's part of a pattern of general disdain for anything Chilean. The Chileans are stuck-up, they say. They have no culture. And their Pisco sucks.

I fly to Chile Sunday morning, so vamos a ver.

-Kera Abraham

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dearest Kera,

Please stay safe and keep the updates coming! We love traveling with you!
Eres linda (obvi) <3
much much mucho love,
Abuela y Alejandra

ray said...

hi Kera and Robin

I hope you both made it to Chile safely and that you are finding yourself in enriching and informative experiences.

Much love,
Raven

Jack said...

hey kera

please, please, please take any advice that keeps you away from the bubble guts. however, i'm sure the folks in chile will have something different to say about their food.

i'm not sure how things are looking in monterey post jazz festival, but we are dealing with a gas shortage here in atlanta. at this rate, i'm sure the panic will set in by this upcoming weekend. this city has weak public transportation/pedestrian systems, and a high dependency on oil.

i'll stay in touch with your post and keep you posted on the developments over here.

i enjoy hearing about your experience there.
you and robin continue to stay safe.

Anonymous said...

bubble guts sounds like a festive summer event.
biggups.