January 29, 2008 Visiting Santa Fe

Store
Store

This fall I was fortunate enough to visit our outlet store in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  For those of you who do not know, Peruvian Connection has outlet stores in Santa Fe, New Mexico and Henley-on-Thames, in the UK.   Each boutique-style store features a treasure of our unique designs and one-of-a-kind samples as well as popular items from seasons past.

The Santa Fe store is unique in that it also offers a selection of current season merchandise so I was pleased to see my favorite styles from our latest collection among the racks.  I watched in amazement as Marisol Ojeda, manager of the store, was able to effortlessly recall by memory designs from past seasons that customers were fondly and desperately seeking.  Our success in Santa Fe is due in no small part to Marisol’s dedication and her customer service exemplifies the kind of personal-shopper experience one can expect from all our store employees.

As well as our outlet stores, this Spring 2008 we are opening our first retail store in Washington D.C.!  It is an exciting year for Peruvian Connection stores and we hope you can stop by and visit one or more of our locations in the future.  We would love to meet you!

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Cuy – An Inca Delicacy

Do you serve white or red wine with guinea pig?  I’m uncertain. But if you travel through Peru you will find it not only in small local road-side stands but also in gourmet establishments in the heart of Lima.  It has long been a staple protein of the Andes; in fact, it has a place in pre-Columbian Inca tradition. Cuy (‘koo-ee’), as guinea pigs are locally known, were once only reserved for nobility. Today they are raised by the locals and are common in rural Andean households as a sort of savings account.  They are so easy and inexpensive to breed that when a family needs money they can simply sell a dozen or so for about $11 a piece.   Traditionally they are served whole but most have discovered that tourists prefer if the unsightly head and paws are removed before serving.

When we were shooting our Holiday 2007 catalogue in Peru one of our team members heard "cuy" was a highly recommended local dish.  She ordered it not knowing exactly what it was.  She assumed it was some kind of special rice dish.  Imagine her surprise when the plate below arrived!

Cuy
Cuy

She could not bring herself to try it and had to promptly leave the table but the rest of us could not pass up the opportunity.  It was delicious!  It tasted like a cross between rabbit and dark chicken meat.  So if you have an adventurous spirit then I highly recommend this Andean delicacy and I think I can now also suggest with confidence either Pinot Gris or Chardonnay.

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December 24, 2007 Feliz Navidad: Christmas in Mexico

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Read the entire story of Christmas in Mexico on PC's website

We have just returned from shooting the upcoming first ever SUMMER catalogue (due in your mailboxes early summer 2008!) in Oaxaca, Mexico, and we were struck with the sights and sounds of Mexican Christmas festivities.

Several weeks before Christmas, elaborately decorated market stalls or puestos are set up in the plazas of every town and city. Some people travel for days from remote areas to get to these markets. The puestos offer crafts of every conceivable kind and foods such as cheese, bananas, nuts, and cookies. Street vendors sell intricate ornaments to decorate homes for the Christmas season.

Although the custom of putting up a Christmas tree has become very popular, the real Mexican tradition consists of a Nativity scene…

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December 3, 2007 Learn More About Peru

It’s no secret that we have a deep affinity for all things Peru. So you can understand our delight when we discovered this great video on YouTube, created by Tourism Peru.

Enjoy!

Peruvian Connection is not responsible for the contents of external internet sites.

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November 30, 2007 Last minute knitting

Knitfabrib
Knitfabrib

(Right – a holiday gift knitted with strips of fabric)

There is just something special about handmade presents. Every year around this time, I’m inspired to knit scarves for holiday gifts. And every year, I barely have enough time to knit one scarf, let alone several…but this year I’ve discovered a simple, fun, and fast technique: knitting with strips of fabric instead of yarn. I “discovered” this technique on Thanksgiving when I was at my parents’ house without yarn or needles. I was yearning to knit. The urge was so strong that I sent my brother-in-law to Walmart for knitting needles (“the largest you can find” – he brought back size 17, about 1/2-inch in diameter). Mom provided some cotton blend fabric, and my 6-year-old nephew helped tear it into 3/4-inch strips. I tied each strip together at the ends and rolled it into a ball. After a couple false starts, I found that a simple rib stitch worked best for the material. In about 3 hours (maybe less because of snack breaks), I knitted a surprisingly soft, lofty, and warm scarf. Mom sent me home with more fabric and a request for a knitted vest.

One note about this technique: it takes a lot of fabric! Two yards roughly completes a 4-foot square area. It’s a great way to use up fabric that’s gathering dust, plus create treasured gifts…in time for the holidays.

If you love handmade gifts, you might like these unique natural fiber creations from Peruvian Connection:

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