Kit Survival 728×90

La Nueva Palomino, an Arequipeña Picanteria

0

La Nueva Palomino is situated in the suburb of Yanahuara just off Calle Misti, near the busy street of Ejercito. The small entrance of La Nueva Palomino makes the restaurant look quite cozy however when you walk into the main area, it opens up into a huge space with the ability to cater for the masses, with room to spare.

This popular eatery is what is known as a _picanteria_, serving up local, and often spicy, Arequipeñan food to please the locals and visitors alike – in this case more locals than tourists, which is always a good sign. A picanteria is all about tradition and fundamental to this tradition is the fermentation of chicha. We met with owner Monica Huerta who has been managing the family restaurant, La Nueva Palomino, for over 10 years. She showed us the large urns of chicha brewed on the premises and explained to us that the chicha is the base upon which the restaurant is judged. If the chicha is good then all is good; if bad then you might as well not bother opening.

Entrance
_(Photo: Michelle Tupy)_

We were presented with three varying sized glasses from which the chicha is consumed. The first a personal sized glass holding 500ml, the second for 1-2 people holding 1 liter, and the third (in fact Monica’s grandmother’s glass) known as the _caporal_ with the ability to hold a massive 1.5 liters for circulating amongst the group. We opted for the smaller glasses and Monica was happy to sit with us sipping directly out of the large 1.5 liter glass, chatting about her passion for food, particularly Arequipeñan cuisine.

The heart of a traditional picanteria is the kitchen and after a quick tour of the kitchen of La Nueva Palomino to see the size of the huge pots cooking on the stove, we didn’t need any more convincing. This is where it was all happening. Picanterias have over 200 years of history and it was very interesting to see them still using these traditional methods in the kitchen today, not to mention the same recipes. The grinding was done by hand using a large stone and the maize tostados – essentially roasted corn (delicious when eaten with queso fresco) – and the garlic were cooked in the fire as we watched on in wonder. The food served up in the picanteria is all natural and fresh, without need for extra oils or other unnecessary ingredients.

Stone
_(Photo: Michelle Tupy)_

_Rocoto Relleno_ (stuffed rocoto peppers) and _Papas Ocopa_ (potatoes in a local sauce), two very traditional dishes were served up alongside a huge (an understatement if anything) bowl of _Chupe de Camarones_, a Peruvian shrimp chowder for us to sample. We tried each dish and were extremely impressed with the quality of each one. The portions were substantial and the balance of flavors in each dish was amazing. Sitting in the busy restaurant, sipping chicha and listening to traditional Peruvian tunes we were effortlessly whisked away from the concerns of modern life – full focus was on the food in front of us.

Other specials like Moqueguano de Camarones, Tiempo de rabos, Costillar de cordero, Chupe de Quinua con colitis de Camaron, Mote de habas, Choclo con queso, Lomo fino con pastel de papa, Picanteada, Queso arequipeno frito, Yuca arrebozada, Saltero de queso and Almendrado de Pato were shown to us and while we didn’t have room to try them all (the ones we did try were delicious), we acknowledged that they all looked tasty. Every dish was clearly made with pride and the staff who served up the dishes seemed to enjoy the task at hand, with smiles all round. One such staff member, Arturo, informed us that he had been working there for the past three years and enjoyed his job very much.

Cuisine
_(Photo: Michelle Tupy)_

A picanteria such as La Nueva Palomino is only open during the day and many of the locals come for the special of the day at 3 p.m., namely the Picante del dia. For 15 soles you can get a plate of food, varying depending on what the specials are – generally a mix of meat, vegetables, salad, potato and rice. Like all the portions in the restaurants, there is no concern about being hungry following any of the dishes.

Of course we saved room for dessert and we were not disappointed. We compared _Queso helado arequipeño de casa_ and _Queso helado de papaya_ and decided that they were both delicious. The first dish followed the more traditional recipe while the second one had the addition of the Arequipeña papaya to give it some extra sweetness. This was our first time in sampling _Tocino del cielo_, a dessert with a crème brulee flavor to it and we decided that we would definitely order it again. And we could not pass up the opportunity to try hot _picarones_ with their sweet accompaniment, a decadent delight.

Dessert
_(Photo: Michelle Tupy)_

A visit to La Nueva Palomino is a true dining experience and for those heading to Arequipa, whether you are familiar with the Arequipenan cuisine or not, it is a must visit establishment.

*La Nueva Palomino*
Psje Leoncio Prado 122, Arequipa
Phone: (054) 252393
“Facebook”:https://www.facebook.com/LaNuevaPalomino?fref=ts
Hours: Wednesday to Monday, 11:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Picante del dia – S/. 15
Chupes Picanteros – S/. 20-61
Piqueo Picantero – S/. 7-40
Cuyes y Aves – S/. 22-44
Dessert – S/. 7-15

_Michelle Tupy is a ghostwriter, focusing on the business, lifestyle and travel genres. She quite happily spends most of her time behind the scenes writing blog posts, Facebook commentary, articles and e-books on behalf of busy managers. Michelle is the creator of the love story anthology entitled “Love Alters – A Love For All Seasons” and is currently working on a book about her family’s road trip from Cusco, Peru to Niagara Falls, Canada entitled “And Off We Went”._

Comments

comments

Michelle Tupy is a ghostwriter, focusing on the business, lifestyle and travel genres. She quite happily spends most of her time behind the scenes writing blog posts, Facebook commentary, articles and e-books on behalf of busy managers. Michelle is the creator of the love story anthology entitled “Love Alters – A Love For All Seasons” and is currently working on a book about her family’s road trip from Cusco, Peru to Niagara Falls, Canada entitled “And Off We Went”.