Nicole Vargas reports for Opinion, photos after the first one are from the internet:
Nationally, Bolivia has innumerable characteristics that make it unique in the world and captivate its own and strangers. Its unparalleled landscapes and natural landscapes are compared almost as much with its gastronomy, recognized on multiple occasions internationally.
The mixture of flavors, aromas and consistencies achieve incomparable preparations with a touch of each region. As part of the national tourist route it is essential to taste some dish and share the experience of feeling Bolivia through the palate.
National diversity covers several aspects and food could not be left out. Thus, in different regions of the country there are exotic dishes that surprise some and enchant others.Calf’s head, bull penis and worms are some of the basic ingredients of these preparations. And, although, some are missed, in most cases, they are very old dishes with history. Two days before [8/4/2019] the national anniversary, the culinary offerings are diverse, and, if something is taken for granted in the country, it is that “you eat well” here.
Fried lizard tail “Oriental innovation”
Lizard meat is one of the most requested – from head to tail – in recent years, for its great flavor and its properties since it contains proteins and high quality amino acids, unsaturated fatty acids, vitamins and various elements that the body needs.
Its aroma is delicate and similar to fish. Usually it is served with cassava and fried plantain.
It is typical of Beni, but because of its demand, it was expanded to the rest of the country where it has great acceptance.
Kalapurka “The ancestral stone”
National historians place this dish among the oldest in Bolivia. It has its origin in the rural area of the department of Potosí and is made from wheat flour that has been retouched and cooked with a volcanic stone heated by fire. [Bolivian Thoughts opinion: given how cold it gets in Potosi and the Bolivian highlands, the boiling volcanic stone remains in the plate, to prevent the soup getting cold.]
Its appearance attracts the attention of those who see the preparation for the first time, since the lawa is served in a clay dish with the boiling stone inside. It is accompanied with potatoes, red pepper, onion and chachacoma (aromatic herb that grows in the highlands). The name is Aymara and refers to a stew prepared with “burning stones.”
Cardan broth “The viagra of the Andes”
If it’s about creating methods to improve sexual performance of the men, the Bolivians have the perfect recipe: a good dish of cardan broth made with the virile member of the bull.
This popular recipe became a tradition for the first hours in the morning and is considered by his followers as the ideal preparation to regain strength. Each serving is accompanied by pieces of beef and chicken, potatoes, boiled egg, chopped onion and llajua. The bull’s phallus should be cooked the day before for approximately 12 hours, since it is quite hard. Something essential is to serve it hot enough to provide “more energy.”
Tuyu Tuyu “The medicinal larvae”
Although it is surprising, this preparation dates back centuries. Its origin dates back to the indigenous Amazonian populations.The tuyu tuyu is a larva that grows in the palm trees fallen from the forest.
Cooked in a pan over low heat while it releases an oil that, according to the villagers, is medicinal and is marketed at high costs. It is usually fried and served with rice and salad. In addition, it is used as an attachment for some types of pizza.
These worms are an excellent source of protein, essential amino acids, minerals and vitamins A and E.
Roasted face “Companion of the dawn”
When the sun casts its first rays and the moon goes down, vendors take over the streets of Oruro to install their pots in which they guard cooked cold calf heads.
The traditional roasted face is a unique dish that is only found in this department. In addition, by habit, it is eaten on the streets.
The head is beaten against the sidewalk parapet to split it and that the diner can taste it without major problem. It is served in newspaper and is accompanied with bread and locoto.