Sucre, Bolivia: El Chorizo and the Sausage Party

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Sucre, Bolivia was a wel­come change from La Paz. The city is beau­ti­ful and his­tor­i­cally sig­nif­i­cant, the peo­ple friendly, the food excel­lent, and the 9,800 feet of alti­tude nowhere near as cruel as in Bolivia’s capital.

Although Sucre offers much in the way of food, chorizo is ubiq­ui­tous. You can find great chorizo in mar­kets, restau­rants, pub­lic squares, everywhere.

In addi­tion to the 24/7 sausage party, Sucre is dis­tin­guished by its white colo­nial archi­tec­ture and its sem­i­nal role in the

Dude meant nothing but business.

Founded Bolivia, in Sucre.

found­ing of Bolivia. Simon Boli­var, who lib­er­ated much of South Amer­ica from Spain, signed the Boli­vian con­sti­tu­tion here in 1826, form­ing the inde­pen­dent nation. Iron­i­cally, Bolivar’s oppo­nents pejo­ra­tively nick­named him ‘el chorizo’. If you ask me, this speaks far worse about the oppo­si­tion. What kind of per­son could pos­si­bly con­sider sausage a bad thing? Okay Boli­var did want to become pres­i­dent for life of Gran Colom­bia, the sov­er­eign coun­try he had pre­vi­ously founded (it encom­passed modern-day Colom­bia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Panama, north­ern Peru and north­west Brazil). He also pro­claimed him­self dic­ta­tor in response to polit­i­cal unrest from the unruly oppo­si­tion — who we already know didn’t like chorizo, so prob­a­bly a good call. Although the ten­sion over fed­er­al­ism ver­sus cen­tral­ism almost got Boli­var assas­si­nated, ended his dream of a uni­fied South Amer­ica, and makes for impor­tant his­tory, you my dear reader are here for the food. Enough about ‘el chorizo, let’s talk sausage.

It took about 15 min­utes to find an amaz­ing meal in Sucre. A big plate of grilled sausage (of course), mar­i­nated beef kebab, bar­be­cued pota­toes, and of course cow heart. I’ll freely admit to not order­ing the cow heart. Paty, the grill-master forced it upon me to her amuse­ment and my fee­ble protests. I actu­ally liked the cora­zon, except for the part when our grill-master said it was raw, which it wasn’t but my reac­tion was worth the joke — for her. But the cora­zon was very lean, sliced thinly, and had a nice spicy and lemony mari­nade. It was just like a nor­mal cut of beef, except the tex­ture was a bit different.

DSCF3726To wash it down, I had an amaz­ing drink of liq­ue­fied peanuts. It was rich and nutty, but also sub­tle, I didn’t guess that it was peanut until they told me. The name of the drink was mani, which is the word they use for peanut . The taste is dis­tinc­tive, and I swear Boli­vian peanuts have a richer fla­vor than the ones we get way up north.

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Next stops on the sausage-stravaganza were two loca­tions owned by 7 Lunares, a local insti­tu­tion. At the first, a small restau­rant on a nar­row but busy thor­ough­fare, I had a nice crispy sausage sand­wich with a deli­cious local aji (pep­per) sauce. I remarked how good the pep­per was, and the pro­pri­etor responded ‘yes, it’s fan­tas­tic. Much bet­ter than in Peru.’ I laughed, and she looked at me sternly, and repeated her­self with­out the faintest hint of humor, ‘No its, much bet­ter than in Peru.’ Clearly this was not laugh­ing mat­ter. I agreed this time with­out hint of a smile, and she nod­ded while walk­ing away. “Si, mucha mejor que en Peru.

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The main mar­ket was the high­light. 7 Lunares have a booth there, and offer an array of cured meats that were just awe­some. They were gen­er­ous with sam­ples, and I ordered a small chorizo sand­wich, and a mixto sand­wich of slow cooked, folded pork, and head cheese (pulled pig face). The sand­wich was lib­er­ally gar­nished, with mar­i­nated grilled onions, and pep­pers, amaz­ing aji, avo­cado, and mayo. Again, wow.

But there’s so much more than just sausage. In upcom­ing posts, we’ll talk more about other grilled meat, fruit juice galore, mar­kets, and Bolivia’s sur­pris­ing micro-brew scene, which is respon­si­ble for cre­at­ing beer that is both inno­v­a­tive and delicious.

7 Lunares, Sucre, Bolivia

Mmmmmm

Mmm­mmm

Fiambres: "Folded Pork" and Pig Face.

Fiambres: “Folded Pork” and Pig Face.

Fiambres: "Folded Pork" and Pig Face.

Fiambres: “Folded Pork” and Pig Face.

The Plaza Mirador en Sucre, Bolivia.

The Plaza Mirador en Sucre, Bolivia.

The colonial architecture defines Sucre.

The colo­nial archi­tec­ture defines Sucre.

Plaza Mirador in Sucre, Bolivia. This is where the monks used to live.

Plaza Mirador in Sucre, Bolivia. This is where the monks used to live.

Sucre's distinctive white facades.

Sucre’s dis­tinc­tive white facades.

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