Food played a big role in my experience of Bolivia.
This experience highlighted to me the importance of food in my life, and allowed me to closer examine my relationship to it in different circumstances – both internal and external.
I went to Bolivia with the agreement with myself that I would try as many varieties of fruit, vegetables, drinks, meat and all other kinds of food placed before me. I knew that it may cause some gastronomic problems (which came on my last 3 days) but it was a risk I was willing to take. When else would I be in Bolivia or on the continent of South America? It was a blessing to have had that time and so I would take as much from it as I could possibly absorb.
Apart from making this agreement due to the opportunity of having an oral experience like no other I had previously had, I had made this agreement as an acknowledgement to the reality that for many families in poor countries food & hospitality is all that they can offer a guest and great pride and love is included in this package. And so I felt a responsibility to respect this and honour this by sipping every drink, tasting every morsel that landed before me. A big task indeed but one that I would enjoy and one that brought me closer to the people we encountered.
The gastronomical journey truly began in Madrid, Spain with the YIPPIES doing their internship in Brazil. A tapas dinner, with Sangria, beer, chorizo, sandwiches, anchovies and more. A sort of pre-lude for me, a taste of the Spanish way and lanuguage whilst watching the local teams play soccer! My ears slowly began to wrap around the Spanish tongue.
Click on any of the images below to enlarge (Captions included).
In addition to eating at home numerous times, being rather well-fed by Maria’s mom (who, in actual fact, became our mom) we found a little spot called “Casablanca” which is located in the centre of town on one of the main roads in Cochabamba.
It is here that we would go for a treat or to try a new dish.
There is a sub-page with a rather special lunch we had which Maria’s dad made for us. It was like a way of saying thank you for choosing Bolivia and a reminder that we are family.