|Taipei’s night market is a tasting heaven © Ilya Katz|
I had always found corn to be yummy but since visiting Peru I’ve rediscovered just how much I really love it. The large, round, toasted kernels taste even better if they are complemented with chicha — “corn beer”. As much as I like to experiment, I don’t think I could have a beer brewing ceremony at home. I sometimes find it difficult to reproduce what I’ve tasted abroad. When the cost and effort of trying to reproduce a meal I had abroad is too much, that is when I become hugely grateful that I live in the large, multicultural, great city of New York. So I headed out with a friend to West Village in search of Peruvian corn. My reward was nourishment in the form of cancha — toasted corn common in Peru. Naturally, when I finished my first bowl I asked for another. As I munched into the tastiness, in my mind I traveled back to South America, to Cuzco, imagining myself adjusting to the altitude by drinking coca tea (tea made from the coca plant which you certainly can’t find over the counter in the US of A, sorry, something about not allowing it over the boarder).
|Peruvian corn is a mixture of colors and a tease for corn lovers © Jenny Mealing|
My association of food with emotions and special occasions is so strong that if I merely hear of an authentic restaurant featuring ethnic cuisine from somewhere I’ve visited before, for a moment I travel back south or east to a place far from home but close to my heart. Do you have a favorite way to relive tastes of traveling? I’d be curious to read your comments.