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Galería de cocina peruana: Picarones

Picarones in syrup. Photo by Jackson Lee.

Who can resist a good doughnut? Even though Dunkin' Donuts has won fans in Lima, picarones are lo más auténticos. Made from pumpkin flour, with a hint of clove and cinnamon in the batter, picarones are served hot, swimming in a pool of light molasses syrup.

Picarones are popularly served at open-air anticucho stands, which ring the parking lots of soccer stadiums in the city. It's tailgating, Lima style. Folks come for the anticuchos (spicy kebabs made of beef heart) and corn on the cob and then finish off the meal with picarones.

You can buy boxes of Picarones batter mix (with packets of syrup!) at Peruvian grocery stores. I just used up my last box to make a batch for my kids, so it's time to get some more!

I wish I had eaten these picarones in Piura in 1997. I almost died [exaggerating just a little] and had to cancel my bus ride to Tumbes and across the border into Ecuador. Stayed home instead, with my head almost in the toilet bowl.
Geez, you'd think the deep frying would kill off all the little nasties...
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