When travelling, living and visiting new countries and cultures part of the joy is undoubtedly sampling the local cuisine. I’m a shit cook and a lazy chef, even though I was once in charge of every cheeseburger and hotdog sold at Bournemouth beach. So I need people to cook for me a lot of the time. The Uruguayan experience was therefore without doubt one of my food highlights. Because my host and home owner, Perla cooked and prepared all the food for us.
Perla’s kitchen. I stayed with Perla, her daughter Cecilia, her brother Kiki, her friend and helper Monica, plus Jack Adams from Scotland and Shawn Mendez from the USA. It was a happy comfy home for two weeks.
Breakfast was always plentiful and superb. A great range of breads with jams, butter and of course Dulce De Leche, one of my favourites. Tea, coffee and juice was also available all the time.
Sometimes Perla was too busy to cook and so ordered us some traditional Uruguayan carryout meals to be delivered. This was normally on a Friday night. This was a Chivito, a Uruguayan speciality probably one of the nicest meals I’ve had on my travels.
These sweet Grissini sticks were something I snacked on all the time. You could buy them from the bakery across the road, but my rent and course fee included all my food so I had no need to.
Typical table at dinner time. Salad, lasagne, egg and pasta. All cooked freshly by Perla.
This milky looking juice was actually freshly squeezed peach. It’s Durazno Juice. In all honesty this is the nicest non-alcoholic drink I have ever had except for tea. I drank a lot of this in Perlas!
I’m a sucker for sweet food, especially cakes and bread. Perla’s daily selections varied and my favourites were the sugary doughnuts and custard filled sugary rolls.
Perla cooking in her kitchen. Perla is a lady of extreme sincerity and hospitality. Nothing is too much trouble for Perla and I hope she enjoyed having me stay there as much as I enjoyed being there. I took these photos on my last night. It was an emotional farewell to Montevideo and Uruguay and we bowed out with a speciality Mexican style meal.
The Mexican chilli from the cooking stage to the delivery onto my plate stage. Another delicious meal from Perla’s never ending archive of cooking. Perla also showed me many photos of her bakery which she owned before life got too busy. She seems to still enjoy cooking a lot.
My final meal in Montevideo was this Mexican, plus an orange juice and a cup of tea. It’s a charmed life sometimes. I wanted to stay longer. I loved Uruguay.
Perla and I in the kitchen on my last night staying there. Smiles all round.
I got to know Jack during the couple of weeks as well, he’s a Chelsea fan and we kept in touch with the BBC and UK football at the weekends. Perla had a computer which I was welcome to use. Jack’s now back living in England and spent a full year out in Montevideo, having a Uruguayan girlfriend, studying there and of course enjoying the laid back lifestyle of charming Montevideo.
Again on my last night with Monica and Perla, holding up my Uruguayan keyring – a present from Perla which I keep with my keys!
Another feast – a mix of chicken, salad and egg.
My favourite dulce de leche on toast!
Perla at home cooking away.
Leche – milk – in Uruguay it comes in plastic sealed bags which you need to put into a jug. Better to drink them within 2 days.
A different style of breakfast with ham and cheese croissants, a sugary bun and my favourite Durazno juice.
I lost track of the different types of meals I tried at Perlas. This was like ravioli and with a choice of beef or chicken milanesa to go with it.
Another style of Uruguayan bread. This one was average – a bit too dry for my liking!
Makes me hungry just looking at it – the one and only Dulce Crema de Leche. I devoured this stuff, not just in Uruguay, but in Argentina, Bolivia, Peru etc…
Chicken thigh, leg and rice. If Uruguay ever tried to do a “Chinese” this is probably as close as they got.
Chocolate Alfajor – not actually one of Perlas but a yummy snack in Uruguay. So overall Perla and her lovely house in Parque Rodo gave me a wonderful experience. I loved the food, I loved my bed – where I enjoyed some good nights sleep on my travels and I loved living at Perlas. The option would always be there for me to return to Montevideo some day and I hope I will. To Perla, thank you for all the wonderful food and hospitality. I’m forever grateful.
PERLA COOKING IN HER KITCHEN IN MONTEVIDEO:
AT PERLA’S WITH THE TYPICAL URUGUAYAN DESAYUNO (BREAKFAST):
EATING TORTA FRITAS IN MONTEVIDEO – TRISTAN NARVAJA MARKET:
WATCHING TV AT HOME IN MONTEVIDEO:
SADNESS ON LEAVING URUGUAY (BY BOAT) IN DECEMBER 2010: