Last week, when I was putting together my blog post about my awayo earrings and how my travels to Bolivia have influenced my work. I stumbled upon some photos I had taken of food---more specifically Bolivian food and I'm now definitely craving some. haha. Too bad there really isn't any authentic Bolivian restaurants here in Washington. Here are just a few photos of all the lovely items that can be found at various markets throughout Bolivia:
One of the most common staple foods found throughout various regions of the world is potatoes and the origin of the potatoe is the Andean Mountains of South America. The potato was cultivated more than 6,000 years ago near Lake Titicaca, on the border between Perú and Bolivia, where still the greatest diversity of wild species can be found. The Aymara Indians developed over 200 varieties on the Titicaca Plateau at elevations above 10,000 feet.
This photo is of "chuños" or freeze-dried potatoes. Chuño is still produced the same way as it was in the time of the Incas.
The process for making chuño includes spreading the potatoes out on the ground on frosty nights. During the day the potatoes are covered with straw to protect against the burning rays of the sun. This is what causes to the potatoes to be completely white. After exposure to several nights of frost, the potatoes are then trampled by foot to eliminate any remaining moisture the potatoe might have retained as well as to remove the skins. After this, the potatoes are exposed to the cold for two additional nights. This basic freeze-dry process is the starting point for two varieties of chuño: black and white.
I really do think that food is a great way to learn more about the culture, history, and people of a country-- thus I believe you should try everything. And by everything, I mean everything from lamb's brain to tripe. Really....you might be surprised by how delicious some things might taste.
Here is one of my favorite Bolivian pastries....
Salteñas! Salteñas are delicious pastries that are filled with your choice of meat: beef, pork or chicken mixed in a sweet, slightly spice or very spice sauce. The pastries include green peas, pieces of boiled egg, a black olive, some raisins and a few other ingredients.
Street vendors are another great way to get a feel of what is typically eaten in a certain region.
This is another item I am craving. Don't get me wrong, I have tried making my own anticuchos de corazon or beef hearts here in the states. But these street vendors really have some sort of special secret since they taste so delicious there. Anticuchos can be readily found on streetcarts and street food stalls (anticucheras).
The anticuchos often come with a boiled potato on the end of the skewer...
Tomorrow, I'll get back to some photos of a few of the pieces from the 80's revisited series!