By Isabel Guerra
LIMA, PERU — Lima, the Peruvian capital, is currently hosting the third edition of what has become known as “The Event.” It’s official name is “Mistura 2010: The Third International Gastronomic Fair of Lima” and it takes just one word to describe what it’s all about — food.
Billed as the most important gastronomic fair in Latin America, Mistura showcases the best of Peru’s rich culinary history, ingredients and creations. It has become so popular that two days after the official opening tickets for the week-long event were sold out.
The event takes place at the Parque de la ExposiciÃ³n, a huge Lima park that has been especially prepared to be the temporary home for 30 restaurants, 78 food stalls, a bakery section, special coffees’ pavilion, as well as, many exhibitions, conferences, special sales, presentations, movies, concerts, markets, taste samplings, and of course, contests.
Peruvians love food, and this clearly shows in the fair’s massive attendance. Organizers were expecting to have 10,000 visitors per day, but in fact the first day hit a record with almost 17,000.
But there’s more than love and food involved.
According to the Ministry of Finance’s estimations, Peruvian gastronomy will post record sales of 40 billion soles (US$ 14.3 billion) this year.
In this sense, Mistura 2010 is a great opportunity for restaurants, food cart vendors and agricultural producers to showcase their products to the world.
“The greatness of Peruvian food will teach us to be great in everything else: in the constancy, in the love for Peru, in the decision of turning our country into something great,” said President Alan Garcia during the opening ceremony.
Gourmet chef and event organizer, Gaston Acurio, explains it clearly: “It’s in the field that the great journey that ends in the kitchen begins. That’s why in this fair there are farmers from all over the country.”
And in fact more than 100 Andean farmers are offering more than 400 native varieties of potatoes for sale in the Grand Market zone, aiming to make these varieties more popular, generating more revenues for their producers in the high Andes.
But the thousands of attendees come not only to shop and to eat but to have fun eating. The huge offerings available at the fair ensures that there is something for everyone: creole, novoandino (Andean fusion), nikkei (Peru’s Japanese fusion), chifa (Peru’s Chinese food), regional cuisines and international dishes, and many varieties of barbecues and meats on spit.
To complete the fun, there are many stalls offering pisco (the national liquor) and several brands of Peruvian wines.
So if you are in Lima, or if you are planning a trip to Lima next year, try to attend this food fair: the organizers have promised that they will make it more popular worldwide than Oktoberfest.
Learn more about Isabel
With a Master’s degree in Communications from the University of Lima’s School of Communication Sciences, Isabel specializes in covering stories regarding art and culture.