Weird and exotic food in Bolivia?
Replies: 31 - Last Post: Oct 15, 2012 1:38 PM Last Post By: jamesbrunker
Oct 12, 2012 7:38 AM
Weird and exotic food in Bolivia?I'm a major foodie and seeks out the weird food when travelling. Can anyone recommend certain dishes that I have to try and if anyone knows of specific restaurants serving guinea pig, llama, alpaca and other exotic fruits. Thank you.
Oct 12, 2012 9:09 AM
1Guinea pig (cuy) is popular in some Andean areas of Peru and Ecuador. But, in Bolivia I never came across any guinea pig dish.
You may find alpaca steak though, very lean meat and tasty if properly made.
Other foods that may be new to you are tripe, testicles and cow udder/teats. You may get those served with your parillada, not being necessarily aware of it.
Oct 12, 2012 9:43 AM
2Andrew Zimmern made one of his "Bizarre foods" programs in Bolivia. If you could find it online or if you could find references to the dishes he eated, you would get some ideas of weird foods to try in Bolivia.
Oct 12, 2012 9:48 AM
3No offence to Bolivia which I absolutely loved but the food wasn't the stand out thing for me. The Saltenas were nice, I also had something I think was called pique a lo macho which had a bit of a kick to it. I had Trucha in Copacabana that was rather nice n'all. I was hoping to try Guinea Pig but the only places serving it seemed to be expensive tourist restaurants, The locals seem to eat Chicken for breakfast dinner and tea.
Oct 12, 2012 9:53 AM
4Bolivian food is pretty uninspiring, though they do eat some weird stuff if that's what you are after.
Keep an eye out for anticucho, which looks like kebabs being cooked on a BBQ, usually at night near drinking places. It's actually heart and very delicious.
Another unusual street food is cow's intestine, (not sure the proper name). It looks like stringy white meat that is often found in mobile stalls in market areas.
Guinea pig I've never seen either but llama is common enough.
There are all sorts of weird fruits and vegetables not common in the west, including about a million varieties of root vegetables similar to potatoes, non of which are very good. The most common is a small black dehydrated potato. To extract the water is a very lengthy process and the end result is rather bland, which often leaves me wondering how they are so popular.
As I was saying many traditional dishes leave a lot to be desired, however if you are craving decent food, there are many good and incredibly cheap international restaurants around. If you are prepared to eat at lunch time and find a good restaurant you will discover the Bolivian almuerzo can be up there with the best value food in the world.
Oct 12, 2012 9:59 AM
5I agree with fowler9. I visited my brother who works down there, and the food just wasn't that great. Not much flavor in the dishes and nothing that can't be found better in the other countries. The Bolivian beef is suspect. If you are looking for "good" food you can find some Argentine influenced steak houses and menus at nice hotels. I did have llama, which was good and interesting, but I imagine the Argentine's and Peruvians do it better.
Aside from absolutely A+ fresh quinoa, I felt it was lackluster.
That being said,
If you make it up to Titicaca, try the trucha. It's a salmon/trout hybrid, tastes pretty good. Also there a bunch of weird snacks you can find in the market a Copacabana. We grabbed a bag of fried minnow looking creatures, it was interesting.
EDIT: You will find some exotic fruits which are delicious.
Edited by: txlnghorn1122
Oct 12, 2012 10:29 AM
6#3 you are certainly not wrong about the friend chicken!
One thing I forgot to mention, if you are after an interesting place to eat (for the atmosphere rather than the food), check out Las velas in La Paz on a Friday or Saturday night. The later the better. It's a genuine cultural experience that will introduce you to the real Bolivia, much more authentic than those cheesy penas.
Oct 12, 2012 1:03 PM
7This is a bit off subject but the worst Chinese food (In fact maybe food full stop) I have ever eaten was in a restaurant just off the Plaza De Armas in Arequipa. Ha ha. I loved the city but that was a real low point.
Oct 12, 2012 1:07 PM
Oct 12, 2012 1:24 PM
9Ha ha, thanks for the info, I don't know why we did it to be honest, I think maybe after 6 months travelling we thought we would try something we were used to (In the UK?!?!?!?), except we weren't as it turned out. If I was in Poland I wouldn't dream of going for a Pizza or a Chinese, I'd rather eat something more local, if that makes sense.
Oct 12, 2012 1:28 PM
10Actually pizza is very Polish ;-) It's kind of euro-american fusion, very specific, best of two worlds. I prefer genuine Italian, but Polish is not bad...it's not freaking Dominos "deep fried" (looks and tastes like this) or anything disgusting like that
Anyway I know the feeling, in South America you miss sometime decent Asian food...I can't eat everyday same stuff, doesn't matter how good it is.
Ok I can get along with a Argentinian steak for 2 weeks or so, but that's the limit :D
Getting decent Polish food will usually mean expensive restaurant unfortunately, of course things like "bigos" or "pierogi" can be found in "milk bar" for something close to nothing ;-)
Oct 12, 2012 1:40 PM
11Ha ha, What I wouldn't have given for Bigos when we went for our Chinese in Arequipa.
Oct 12, 2012 3:13 PM
Chifa is strictly Peruvian. Actually, it means "have you eaten rice", sort of greeting in Chinese. Chinese and Japanese influences are very old and strong in Peru, even if not complying with present food trends. Ceviche is another thing, close to sashimi, created under Japanese influenses. Another one was/is Fujimori, although not food related. Lol !!
Polish cabbage is an entirely different thing, worth another thread.
Oct 12, 2012 3:37 PM
Oct 12, 2012 4:20 PM
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