January 29, 2008 Turkey Cooking Lesson

Cooking_3
Cooking_3

Sometimes it is the unexpected events in our lives that yield the most treasured memories.  We photographed our Resort 2008 catalogue on the remote island of Kekova, Turkey.  The villagers of Kaleköy may have been initially surprised by our eclectic entourage of photographers, stylists, models and equipment but they quickly adopted us during our stay and made us feel right at home. 

We were especially enamored by the local cuisine.  Mediterranean salads were lovingly prepared for us with a variety of fresh ingredients such as olive oil, mushrooms and eggplant seasoned with newly picked basil.  Staples such as fish and yogurt were complemented by warm crusty bread and fruit.  But it was the enigmatic island pancake that roused our palette every morning.   Our island hosts, noticing our admiration and curiosity about the dish, graciously offered to give us a group cooking lesson.   

Under the stars, we gathered around an open fire and our "teacher", not able to speak English, began simply by mixing flour and water into malleable dough with only her hands.  Then she rolled portions effortlessly into paper thin pancakes that covered the entire floured table and filled each with handfuls of goat cheese and basil. The large half-moon folded pancake was then browned on a concave iron surface over the fire while her mother attended.  Moments later we were all sharing the delicious light pancakes one after another.  She even allowed us to try rolling the dough ourselves.  This was a disaster of course that ended in both our instructor and her mother laughing out loud at our ugly pancakes.  But their generosity and inherent joy fed not only our weary bodies but also our spirits.  This post serves as our heart-felt "thank you" to our generous Kaleköy family.

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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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