Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Destination Peru #12: Peru has Pizza?

Agua Calientes, in the town square with the Incan fountain

I apologize for the lack of addresses or more specific directions, but this is probably the easiest way to find the place paired with the above photo. Restaurant Amaru is upstairs, providing a scenic balcony view of the square.

View from the restaurant

I wonder if you noticed something peculiar about the sign of the restaurant in the first picture. "Bar,restaurant..." yes those all make sense, "...pizzeria"? Now in itself it may not be quite so strange, but pizzeria is actually a fairly common site in Peru. How many of you knew that Peru has pizza, and lots of it? After passing by many of these places, I couldn't help but try it.

And it was good. In fact, so good, it beats most of the pizza I've had here. Maybe it even holds a candle to NY style pizza. Though they are quite different types of pizza, I'd be hard pressed to choose a NY slice over a Peruvian one. The crust was thin, like a slightly risen cracker but crisp from the wood oven. This pizza is a pizza mixta, with ham, palm hearts, olives, bacon, cheese and oregano. As much as NY pizza is defined by the dough and the sauce, I think Peruvian pizzas are characterized by the cheese. I'm tempted to say it's queso fresco, but I can't confirm that. All I know is the the way the ham paired with the gooey strands made me go back to another pizzeria the next day.

Besides the marvelous pizza, I also had an empanada which I regrettably forgot to photograph. The crust was different than the Argentinian ones I had before. It wasn't flaky as much as it was smooth. I think they messed up my order and gave me a pure cheese one. Ultimately, it was too much dairy for me to handle.


dz said...

oh jeez that looks magnificent. wanttt sooommme. i am in Norway for the semester (studying in Oslo), and the pizza here is miserable--and expensive, like everything else.

Anonymous said...

This pizza looks so good. I wish I had a piece of right now.

Anonymous said...

I was in Peru (Puno, specifically) for a month this summer and I LOVED the pizza there. Amazing. Did they serve it to you with creamy garlic or tomato salsa to dip it in?

Aaron said...

@Catherine I didn't get any of the creamy garlic or tomato salsa. Ill be sure to look for it next time