This time, "Cuisine of the World" features cuisine from Peru. Located in the western part of South America, Peru has been home to the flourishing of several civilizations since the days before Christ. As well as being renowned as a treasure trove of ancient relics, in recent years, it has also been receiving world attention as a resource-rich country, producing minerals, natural gas and oil. After Marubeni invested in Peru's first private company specialized in the purification and supply of water, Consorcio Agua Azul S.A. (CAA), Mr. Sugawara took up a post in Marubeni's Lima branch in 2009.
Manabu Sugawara's mission in Peru was the supervision of the management situation of CAA and the expansion of its business. "The water supply was intended for the residents of the northern part of Lima, totaling about 800,000 people. To cater for the sudden increase in population, we were aiming to increase the amount of water supply available, and we were considering making a large-scale reservoir upstream in the Chillon river, the water source." However, partially because the political institutions of the local authorities in the area, which were our business counterparts, were afflicted with some of systematic backwardness that is peculiar to newly emerging countries, it was sometimes very difficult to proceed with business. "In these sorts of situations it is important not to give up, and to maintain a patient attitude, as you push forward with your efforts. The people of Peru are easy-going and easy to get along with. If you sit down and discuss everything frankly with them, it is possible to come to an understanding."
Food plays an important part in the lifestyle in Peru. "Peruvian people are profoundly influenced by Christianity and Latin American culture, and treating other people with love and taking care of their family is very important to them. Meals are a time for important interaction with people they care about. Lunch is to be enjoyed slowly with wine, spending more than 2 hours, together with friends and family," says Mrs. Sugawara.
At dinner parties in people's houses too, people chatter away while enjoying food and alcohol. Lively music and dance continues until after two in the morning. "The people of Peru are really skilled in and understand how to enjoy life," says Mr. Sugawara.
Peru has a rich range of food ingredients available from the sea, mountains and jungle, and there are a large number of appealing and delicious dishes which fuse the different food cultures of its aboriginal peoples, as well as immigrants from Europe, Africa and Asia.
"Ceviche" is a local specialty of a sort which is distinctive of Peru as a country boasting the world's second largest marine products industry. Within Lima city, there are "Cevicheria" which specialize in "Ceviche" located all over the place. On the whole, the more popular the restaurant is in style, the better the taste of its "Ceviche," and it is always wise to choose a restaurant where people are lining up to get in. The most exquisite combination consists of "Ceviche" made with freshly-caught fish and seafood and an aperitif called a "Pisco Sour," made by mixing lemon juice and egg white with "Pisco," a distilled spirit made from grapes (a Peruvian specialty containing 40% alcohol by volume). Mr. Sugawara says that this was a pleasure that he looked forward to in the afternoons of his days off.
"Peru is not just a natural resource country. It is a true resources country with many profound points of appeal, such as a unique food culture which can stand shoulder to shoulder with the world's three grand cuisines, as well as tourist resources, etc. I believe that it will continue to grow more and more in the future."
Including Machu Pichu, home to the mysterious city in the sky, and the vast plateau of Nazca lines and geoglyphs, Peru has a large number of historical relics that overflow with appeal, and in recent years, with the background of its stable economic policy, the rise in the price of resources, and the expansion of domestic demand, it is achieving high economic growth. Since opening its first office in Peru in 1956, Marubeni has been trading in minerals, food, cars, etc. in the country, as well as, in recent years engaging in projects relating to water, LNG, construction machinery, etc.
|Seafood (fillets of white fish, squid, octopus, prawns, etc.) (*1)||250g|
|Coriander (finely chopped)||1 teaspoon|
*1 It does not matter what variety or type is used, but preferably whatever is in season and raw. If this is not available, it is possible to use boiled seafood.
*2 A type of yellow chili pepper used in food in the South American Andes region. It is a spice which is essential in Peruvian cuisine (it is referred to as yellow chili pepper in Japan). When cooking this dish at home, it is possible to use red chili pepper in place of it. The same amount should be used.
*3 This is available in food stores, etc. which sell ingredients for ethnic cuisine.
Step 1: Cut the fillets of white fish into 3cm cubes, and cut the squid, octopus, prawns and other seafood into easy-to-eat sizes.
For this recipe we are using flounder now, but it is best to use whatever fresh raw fish is in season.
Step 2: Put (A) and 3 pieces of white fish into a mixer to make the marinade.
Salt and pepper should be added according to preference but the authentic flavor is quite salty.
Step 3: Mix together well the contents of Step 1 and Step 2 as well as the coriander, and leave it to marinate for about 10 minutes.
Step 4: Lay the lettuce leaves on a plate and dish up the contents of Step 3 on top. Garnish with the sweet potato, purple onion, and cancha.
From: “Shareholder’s guide Marubeni,” Vol.112 (published in June 2012)