La Casona: Good local food
Arranged around a courtyard, this restaurant is quite popular with the few tourists who made it to Ayacucho.
It serves typical local food as well as more sedate western options. The asparagus soup was made with powder, not surprising.
I decided to try an extreme local dish: fried guinea pig (cuy). It came with potatoes and mashed avocado, was cut in two lengthwise and still with teeth and ear. I ate it but there was hardly any meat. Maybe it would have been better in stew (picante de cuy)?
Favorite Dish: Can't say the cuy was great, actually it was pretty gross!
My friend's puca picante (pork with peanut sauce and potatoes) was good.
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Local traditional bread hot out of the oven!
The traditional ayacuchano bread is called the "chapla", and is akin to a puff-bread and looks like an inflated pita, but is far tastier. They come in two sizes and styles: a small, rougly fist -sized one and a larger variety very lightly flavored with anise seeds.
On Jiron 9 de Diciembre, half a block from the main plaza, you'll find a nondescript entrance on the left, next to the old Cavero movie theatre. That doorway leads down a long hall at the end of which you'll find an old-style traditional wood-fired bakery turning out traditional chapla bread in the mornings and late afternoons. Just walk in with a bag and some change, like everyone else, and you can purchase them by the unit, straight out of the huge adobe oven -- I've even had them melt the plastic bag I put them in, they were so hot!
Eat them right away, or if you can wait, and want a treat, there are few things tastier than fresh, warm chapla with strawberry jam and a cup of coffee.
The chaplas will keep for days and still be tasty, if a bit chewier, and so make a good thing to take in a daypack with some local cheese.
(Note: the photo is of a similar bakery in Abancay and is borrowed from http://www.albumamicorum.com/reise/bericht/peru/peru2.htm)
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