(Warning: No deep thoughts ahead. Only food).
The question we get asked the most since moving to La Paz?
Is the food different?
Other frequently asked questions include, “Is it hard to find the food you like?”, “What food do you miss the most?” and “What is your favorite food in La Paz?”.
Personally, I LOVE these questions. They only demonstrate that food is on their mind as much as it is on mine!
First: Is the Food different?
Not as different as I expected! If you want to find a great burger or good chicken, you can find that here. The altitude definitely makes cooking a little more interesting. We have managed to explode (yes, explode) a batch of brownies in the oven, chicken takes twice as long to bake and pasta, well, because of the slower boiling point, pasta kind of takes on it’s own, gummy, character.
Second: Is it hard to find the food you like?
Again, not as difficult as I expected. There are amazing fruit and veggie markets that are super accessible. We have learned some tricks to make sure our produce is super clean. Dish soap and water for non-porous veggies such as tomatoes, peppers and apples. Vinegar and water for things like strawberries. We learned the hard way not to use soap and water with strawberries…yuck!
The grocery stores also carry pretty much anything you might want. You just have to ask yourself how much you are willing to pay. For a basic box of “American” cereal, you might spend between $11 and $13 U.S. dollars. So yes, our taste in cereal has changed significantly!
The one thing that I haven’t found are convenience foods and frozen veggies. It makes us cook from scratch and I have learned how to flash freeze veggies. As long as we allow a little more time than usual, neither of these is much of a bother (and healthier maybe?)
I thought I’d enlist the kids for the last 2 questions:
1. What food do you miss the most?
Kid 1: I miss Panda Express.
Kid 2. I miss Pizza Hut.
2. What is your favorite food in La Paz?
Kid 1: The Factory because it has really good hamburgers
Kid 2: Pasteles…they are funnel cakes filled with cheese (seriously, people, whoever invented this was a genius!)
Personally, I think honorable mention needs to go to Charque de Llama (pulled, dried and fried and then put on a sandwich. Might be one of those things you just have to try for yourself!), Picante de Pollo (spicy chicken with an amazing broth, served with rice), cuñapes (little rolls made with yucca flour and cheese. YUM!) and the quinoa (often cooked similar to fried rice, but with less oil…delicious!!). Many (husband included) would argue and put salteñas on the list, but I just don’t love them. Maybe I’m not a “paceña” quite yet…??
There you have it! You can find almost anything here, depending on cost. The fruits and veggies are amazing (you’ve never really tasted a carrot until you taste a carrot in La Paz!) and there are enough interesting options to keep this foodie quite happy! Come and visit and we’ll make sure you get to taste all of our favorites!