post5 // yes to all: cheese-smothered potato pie and meat stuffed pepper

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Rocoto Relleno y Pastel de Papas

After a long morning tour of Arequipa by bus, I was ravenous. Not in a good way. My friends here in our Davidson group of eighteen, with the help of my approval, have named my hungriest of emotional and physical states: the hangry. I’m sorry if there’s anyone else out there that suffers from the hangry, I understand your plight. For those that are lucky enough to escape this condition, I have a bit of explaining to do. It starts coming on if you haven’t eaten for a couple of hours. Next thing you know, the only acceptable topic of conversation is your hunger, and your anger concerning your hunger. Those girls laughing on the other side of the room? Yeah, no. They need to stop, because the hangry is a bit overwhelming right now.

Luckily though, there’s a simple remedy to the hangry: that large part of our lives called food. Upon smelling my meal as I watched it delivered to my seat, I was cured.

If the picture doesn’t get your mouth watering I don’t know what could. Yet again, I could see those picky eaters out there wondering what is on top of the cheesy potato pie and pepper duo…

It’s an egg-based topping that naturally for this dish, also contains cheese. The egg’s function is to break up the spiciness of the hot pepper. Although I love spicy foods, with the amount of cheese and meat packed into this very pepper, the dish itself was far from fiery. The potato pie was rich and flavorful, a layered lasagna-like structure enjambed with egg and more cheese. The top and bottom are crisped to a light golden brown, just like any pie you would make. Together, the pepper and pie embody not just a signature Peruvian dish, but a quintessential Ariquipenan entrée. This award-worthy tasting of two traditional foods will be hard to beat. I’m looking into a recipe for this particular rendition, stay tuned!

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