I know, weird, right? But let me tell you how it happened.
Recently, I saw on Facebook that my brother was a fan of a Peruvian food truck called Sanguchon. The main locations are up in San Francisco, but, much to my delight, I saw that they were also in various places around the bay area. My husband, his parents and our oldest had business to attend to on Saturday – they would be gone the whole morning and part of the afternoon, so I decided to take my youngest to try a bit of Peruvian food. Our good friends J&M were free for lunch and live super close to where the food trucks would be, so we met up there.
The menu looked pretty good, many Peruvian dishes made into sandwiches or wraps, and lovely side dishes, dessert and drinks were also available.
The first offering on the picture above is Pan con Chicharron – a sandwich that includes the ingredients for the traditional weekend breakfast in Peru. The bread was crunchy but not hard, made specially for Sanguchon, and the meat inside was flavorful and moist. At home we would serve this on a plate instead of as a sandwich, the meat alongside the fried yams, with some red onion and spicy yellow pepper sauce. I was happy that the flavors worked all together in the sandwich, and my friends seemed to enjoy theirs as well.
My friend M holding up her Pan con Chicharron. Yum!
The next picture is of Lomo Saltado, which, again, we serve as a meal, but next time I would love to try it as a sandwich. It’s stir-fried pork or beef with fries, tomatoes and onions. My husband learned to make this for me
Next are Yuca Fries, which, I will be totally honest, are not my thing. I find Yuca to be too dry and am happier with sweet potatoes or yams as a side dish.
Inca Kola is the national soda of Peru – back there we love to drink it with anything, but for some reason it really seems to work with Chinese/Peruvian food. Every Chifa (Chinese restaurant in Peru) says that their food goes great with some Inca Kola, and it’s true. It’s very sweet and crisp and I love it. They now sell it at my local Target (???) and I do my best to avoid it because there is no Diet Inca Kola.
The last item in the picture is Chicha Morada. Peru has many varieties of corn, including a purple corn that we use to make this sweet drink and a sweet pudding called Mazamorra. My dear friend K loves Mazamorra and calls it “purple stuff” ;D I’ve discovered that Whole Foods carries Purple Corn flour from Peru so I’m going to try and make some Mazamorra.
Our favorite part of lunch, however, were the Alfajores:
I love alfajores. Alfajores are so bad for me, because I can’t eat just one. My little man was chowing down on these and kept asking for more. Shortbread cookies with dulce de leche (or manjarblanco, as we call it in Peru) in between, dusted with powdered sugar. So good. These were excellent. The cookies were very tender and the filling just right.
A good friend of my family has a killer Alfajor recipe, and now I need to get it from her because I didn’t realize how much I had missed them! Who knew a dessert of Arabic origins, brought from Spain to South America, would become such an integral part of our cuisine?
And what on earth does Sanguchon mean? Well, in Spanish, the word “sandwich” became “sanguche” (SAN-goo-che) and a Sanguchon means a big sandwich. I ate only half of mine and saved the rest for later. It was a nice surprise to find Peruvian food and be able to share it with our friends. If you’re in the SF Bay Area, check out Sanguchon’s schedule to see if there a food truck near you!
Oh, and if you’re going to try the alfajores, please don’t wear black pants like I did – the powdered sugar went everywhere! ;D