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Belen and Cooking Pirana

sunny 85 °F
View South America on solorooster's travel map.

Belen is a district separate from Iquitos on the banks of the Itaya River.
In dry season the houses are all on stilts and the ground is dry, in the wet season, the city floats. We are in wet season and I went to check it out.
It is different. The houses are poor ramshackle and toilets are little boxes with nothing below them. Children swim in the same water with the sewage!

Animals cannot run around with the water everywhere!
My host informs me that the city is a political problem. Also in Belen is the market. This market is apparently really unique, with exotic goods, and very chaotic.

The last day in Iquitos I offered to take my hosts, who have allowed me in their home for 6 nights, out to dinner. We came up with a better idea and that was to cook a meal with a lot of local food. We got up early and went to the Belen Market, which was as I described, sprawling and disorganized containing many unique goods from the area. We bought fish (Pirana, Dorado, Sabalo), Yucca, heart of palm,
cocona fruit, and some leaves to cook the fish inside of.
The market wwas huge and mototaxis drove right through it.
Dorado fish

prepping piranha
selling giant leaves

Later in the day, we cooked it all.
Most of it was surprisingly simple.
The Dorado and Sabalo were seasoned and wrapped in the leaf.
The pirana was battered and fried.

The Yucca was boiled and fried. The Cocona was pureed. The heart of palm was server with olive oil and lemon.
We also made fresh fruit juice using the fruit guayara brazilera. Afterward, it was time to enjoy the feast., large_DSC04968.jpg
We even made a little ceviche
piranha and yucca
Let the feast begin!

The week itself had its ups and downs but ended on a high note!

Posted by solorooster 18:49 Archived in Peru

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