Peru: Smithsonian Folklife Festival

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Instead of going for a meal out at a normal Peruvian restaurant we changed it up a bit.  DC is known for their festivals and celebrations of many nations.  Over two weeks the Smithsonian celebrates a different country and their cultures each year.  This year the Smithsonian Folklife Festival celebrated the Peruvian people (http://www.festival.si.edu/2015/peru/smithsonian)

The folklife festival celebrates the Peruvian arts, music, crafts and most importantly their food.  There were different speakers, dancers and entertainers at the festival as well.   I wanted to take one of these ladies and put her in my front pocket to keep around.

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Included in this festival was art demonstrations and a large rope bridge that was built to replica bridges common in Peru.  As well as a very cool graffiti artist Elliot Tupac doing his work.

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To go with all this Peruvian culture there was of course, food.  They had a cooking instructional area going on in El Fogon Kitchen.  They were currently showing to make Cuy (guinea pig found in this area.)  Sadly they were not serving this food at the folklife festival today.   I would love to have added cuy to my list of foods never eaten before.  However there was a large variety of cuisines to be eaten by different Peruvian vendors.

To start the Peruvian feast today we went to eat at a local vendor’s tent called, Kikiriki (superchickenmanassas.com).  They had a small tent we found that was serving tamales.  The Tamal con Salsa Criolla was delicioso.  The banana leaf wrapped tamal was stuffed with sliced chicken that had wonderful flavor.  Also in the tamal were a few interesting surprises such as an egg and a large olive.   We later found out Kikiriki had a much larger area which served tons of food, including dessert (coming up later).

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David Ravikoff and Teresa Wiltshire joined us later as we made our way to the Peruvian Brothers tent (peruvianbrothers.com).  They were serving the standard Peruvian rotisserie chicken.  It was nothing special and wasn’t very big.  However, on the side we got an order of  Papa A La Huancaina (potatoes in spicy creamy sauce.)  Bridget also got a Jugo de Maracuya (passion fruit juice.)  20150705_135629

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For dessert we made it back to the Peruvian Brothers tent area.  We had no idea there was even a dessert option until right before we were going to head out.  I saw they were selling Alfajores, ducle de leche sandwich cookies.  They were covered in powdered sugar and devoured between the four of us in seconds (as shown below).

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We enjoyed the culture and history of the Peruvian people while at the Folklife Festival.  Living in the DC area you get to enjoy many cultures and cuisines from all over the world.   We heard fun music, saw beautiful art and at delicious food.

-Matt

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