June 14th, 2006

Yesterday we went to Barrio Chino to eat Chifa. Chifa is a well loved gastronomic institution here.

Let me explain. In the days of railway building, workers were needed to build them (why always the Chinese? Anyone know?). Some 200,000 people from East Asia were hired in the Portuguese and Spanish colonies there and transported to the Americas. Here they completed the construction and had to find a way to make a living. Wisely, they chose food.

They had a problem though. All their traditional ingredients were grown in East Asia, not South America. This meant they had to adapt Peruvian ingredients to emulate the food they ate at home. This fusion created Chifa!

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