Tag Archives: Bolivian food

All I want for Christmas….is a Bolivian stomach

31 Jul

All I want for Christmas is a Bolivian stomach.  After being in Bolivia for a few weeks I have realised that Bolivians have the best stomachs in the world…why do I say this?  Well they can eat ANYTHING and I mean ANYTHING, at any time of day, anywhere and refrigeration…man that’s for wimps anyway isn’t it!

So what does the Bolivian consist of? Well for breakfast in many places they have a huge bowl of soup with meat in it.  They often sell this on the streets in places like Cochabamba,Potosi and La Paz or within one of the many wonderful markets around Bolivia. Needless to say when sold in the streets there is no refrigeration at all and very little else by way of the usual standards we have for food…Other breakfast options include coffee (with evaporated milk and the “usual dose of sugar” ie 2 heaped desert spoons) with a sandwich with fried meat and onions or bread with a hulk of cheese (in Bolivia the closest the cheese gets to the sandwich is in the name..not sure why but it’s always served separately as a wedge on the side).

Another breakfast option is quinoa con leche or con manzana (apple)…now this is unusual stuff…basically the quinoa seems to be cooked in the milk (I think!) and then it is served either in a glass on the street or in a plastic bag with a straw tied at the top.  Refrigeration again…who needs it?

Now while I am on plastic bags I have never known a country to serve so many funny things in plastic bags – you can get any drink you want in a plastic bag including coffee, fresh orange and grapefruit and of course quinoa con leche.  You can also get a whole meal in plastic bags including soup, meat, rice and veg and desert. How they tie the bags is amazing.. I mean the contents never leak out..awesome..

Now onto lunch…the typical lunch is called an almuerzo and consists of 4 courses….starter is a salad commonly with mortadella or cheese..then the biggest plate of soup I have ever seen and then meat with a huge portion of rice, served with bread and then jelly for desert. All for about 60 pence.

At 4 o’clock it is time for a snack..after all who wouldn’t be hungry after that feast…a snack is coffee (with evaporated milk and the usual does of sugar) and bread with cheese or bread with avocado….

Then dinner or cena….cena is usually pretty small by Bolivian standards…it is usually only a huge plate of soup (with pasta “fideo” of course) bread and then meat, a huge portion of rice and veg…all for about 40p this time…..

You might of course need a street snack to keep you going…again all I want is a Bolivian stomach…street snacks vary from tripe and potatoes…unrefrigerated of course…pasta and milanese (a thin piece of meat breaded) unrefrigerated of course….and how about llama meat shredded and salted served with an egg, cheese and dehydrated potatoes..again all unrefrigerated…

Sweet street snacks include pasteles..basically deep fried pastry with sugar…or jelly with whipped cream on top…prepared in the street in a bucket and again without refrigeration…

Ironically my upset stomach came from me eating a dose of fruit with unrefrigerated yoghurt….and ironically came a day after me saying that I had a cast iron stomach….oh well maybe Santa will bring me a Bolivian stomach this year…and that kind of stomach does not trouble itself with such things as “fruit and yoghurt”!!!

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