One typical alpaca burger offering at a local restaurant
The taste: Both alone and within a pizza, we found alpaca meat to be a tad saltier than beef but generally more tender and juicy, as if it's harder to mess up cooking alpaca than it is to mess up beef. Order a red wine or some chicha morada and think of other recipes where alpaca would be great, like in any Hamburger Helper!
Do go have a meal at Chez Maggy (Procuradores 344), which we found while wandering down a small street just off the Plaza de Armas. It seats only about 15 diners at a few tables, has an extensive menu, and the owner, host, waiter and cook are the same nice man.
The price: Asado de alpaca as an entree at a restaurant average 24 soles ($9) and our pizza was 22 soles ($8.50). The burger menu listing pictured above was from a restaurant aimed at tourists, which is why that burger goes for 30 soles ($11.60) in an otherwise cheap town.
Where to find it: In Cusco, seek out the raw meat at the Supermercado Mega. It'd make for a fun cooking experiment if you're in town long enough to take an apartment or room with a kitchen. For shorter stays, look for alpaca burgers and pizza on menus, as we found at Chez Maggy. In addition, the Palacio Nazarenas Hotel serves alpaca cold cuts in the complimentary breakfast.
Our alpaca-topped pizza at Chez Maggy
If you'd like to share some of your foreign grocery finds, we'd love love love to see them. Send 'em on over via email here and snack on, my friends.
[Photos: Cynthia Drescher/Jaunted]