The Best Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Cusco, Peru
A visit to Cuzco, a city in the Peruvian Andes, tumbles you back into the cosmic realm of ancient Andean culture - knocked down and fused with the colonial splendors of Spanish conquest, only to be repackaged as a thriving tourist mecca. It was once capital of the Inca Empire, and is now known for its archaeological remains and Spanish colonial architecture. Plaza de Armas is the central square in the old city, with arcades, carved wooden balconies and Incan wall ruins. The baroque Santo Domingo Convent was built on top of the Incan Temple of the Sun, and has archaeological remains of Inca stonework. Incas deemed this spot the belly button of the world. Yet Cuzco is only the gateway. Beyond lies the Sacred Valley, Andean countryside dotted with villages, high altitude hamlets and ruins linked by trail and railway tracks to the continent's biggest draw - Machu Picchu. A stunning landscape careens from Andean peaks to orchid-rich cloud forests and Amazon lowlands. Explore it on foot or by fat tire, rafting wild rivers or simply taking the local buses to the remote and dust-worn corners of this far-reaching, culturally rich department. With so much to see, do, and taste, Cusco is a great place to experience, and there are several options for food tours and cooking classes in the area to help you taste some of the best flavors of the city.
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Enjoy a visit to San Pedro Market. This market, the biggest and most famous markets in the city of Cusco, affords a very colorful and unique experience. Here, you will be introduced to some of the best local products Peru has to offer. As an introduction to your cooking class, you will learn to make the Peruvian national drink, Pisco Sour. You will then learn to cook some traditional Peruvian dishes. The first course will be a three-way tiradito- an evolution of ceviche served three different ways: classic, tumbo, and Asian style. As a second course you'll learn to prepare a delicious dish using highly nutritious products harvested in local communities. For lunch this includes: mashua puree with Chinese-Peruvian style sauteed mushrooms, for dinner this includes: potatoes and moraya baked cake in tarwi and yellow chili sauce. For the third course, learn a different way of preparing the very trendy Quinoa. For lunch, try quinoa tamales, for dinner, you'll make mushroom quinotto. Your fourth course will round everything off by tasting the most important local fruits in creative desserts.
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Learn the concepts of the Peruvian kitchen, traditional Andean products, taste a sample and prepare your own Pisco Sour, and finally, learn to cook two famous plates from the Peruvian kitchen with dessert. Watch and learn, when your private chef shows how to prepare delicious Peruvian food with natural Andean ingredients, then, after observation, you will try making a tasty plate yourself as well as the famous national drink, Pisco Sour. Do more than just sample these delicious flavors, learn how to create them yourself so that you can make them again when you return home.
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Learn how to make your very own chocolate during this interactive tour of the museum and the chocolate workshop. A professional guide will explain to you how to make chocolate from the bean to the bar. Understand the history behind the famous cocoa beans and how Peru got to make some of the finest chocolate around the world. During the workshop, you will learn the different steps of the chocolate making process and participate in 4 of them: roasting the cocoa beans, removing cocoa husk, grinding the cocoa nibs on a metate with a mano, and refining the cocoa paste in a melangeur. Finally, you will prepare and savor delicious hot chocolates as well as creating your own chocolates with your choice of ingredients. You will be able to leave with all of your handmade chocolates unless, of course, you have already eaten them.
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Choose lunch or dinner tour time when booking. At your chosen tour time, be ready for convenient pickup at your Cusco hotel, and bring your appetite. Head for the San Pedro market, the city's largest and most popular, that is filled with local products from all over Peru. Learn about endemic varieties of potatoes and corn commonly used in Peruvian cuisine. Begin your cooking class with a lesson on pisco sours, the national drink of Peru. You'll learn to make this famous Peruvian national drink and taste it as well. Afterwards, your culinary experience begins. Depending on your choice of lunch or dinner, you will prepared some traditional Peruvian dishes, with a modern twist, always guided by a Peruvian chef. To top it off, the last step of the class will be a typical Peruvian dessert, where you'll taste some of Peru's most exotic fruits. After digging into your creations, enjoy convenient drop-off back at your Cusco hotel.
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