This Sunday’s breakfast is brought to you from the coastal city of Trujillo, Peru.
My father, brother and I have been here since Friday, along with cousins, aunts and uncles to celebrate my grandmother’s 80th birthday. Or, as some may say, her fourth 20th birthday.
While in town, a handful of us have been staying at the El Gran Marques Hotel, a stone’s throw from my aunt’s house. If you can really throw a stone…
The Gran Marques has a great breakfast spread, with fruits and juices, different breads and amazing coffee. As any breakfast buffet pro knows, this has to be a multiple plate affair.
I started with a tamale, covered in onion salsa. I washed it down with paypaya-passion fruit juice. Both are indigenous to Peru and oh-so-good. Best thing about being with family for a week? I can eat all the onions I want, and everyone is still obligated to love me.
I finished my meal with some “homemade” cake (I’d ask whose home, but it was good, so who cares?) and a cup of esencia de cafe. Now, this may look like your standard cup of drip coffee, but watch out now. Esencia de cafe is prepared in an entirely different manner.
Espresso ground coffee is put into a filter which is set up over a larger container. Water is boiled separately and periodically added to the coffee grinds. This is a slow process of love, requiring several hours, but producing a thicker, smoother tasting liquid. My grandmother adds barley to her boiled water, adding extra depth to the flavor of her coffee.
Not all filter-contraptions are built alike. Maybe your abuelita does it differently. Ultimately, what you may find on her kitchen table –
This liquid is poured into your mug, then topped off with boiling water and milk/sugar to your liking. You can use as much esencia as you like, allowing you to control the strength of your morning/afternoon/last cup of coffee. I absolutely prefer this to drip coffee, which I often find flavorless and likely to run straight through ya.
I hope you all had relaxing, coffee-filled Sunday breakfasts, wherever you were.