Souvenirs

Ohh my goodness, I have so much to talk about today!

First, I ate the last serving of muffin-cauliflower oat bran for breakfast.

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This was not, however, any regular old cauliflower-muffin oat bran. Something special (and I’m not even talking about the cauliflower or the muffins here) was hidden inside the creamy depths.

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Lucuma powder!

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Lucuma is a fruit that grows in the South American highlands. Everything was lucuma-flavored when I lived in Peru last summer: yogurt, ice cream, cookies. Proof:

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(Yes, I saved all my cookie/candy/ice cream wrappers from the trip. Obviously.)

It took me a while when I was in Peru to even figure out what lucuma was. A spice? A candy? Its flavor is not particularly fruity. I finally asked my host family, as I was chowing down on my 15th lucuma cream-filled sandwich cookie, What the heck is this stuff? When I found out it was a fruit, I wanted to go hunt it down so I could see it in person, but they explained that it wasn’t really sold fresh because it’s kind of hard and inedible in its fresh form. So I have still never come across a live lucuma. However, I was super-excited when I found out that Navitas Naturals had a lucuma powder, and I immediately put in a request. And I was so happy to see such Peruvian love all over the packaging!

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While lucuma is not my favorite flavor in the world, tasting it brings me back to my perfect Peruvian summer. It’s a worthy sacrifice.

I mixed 1 tbsp of the powder into the muffin-cauliflower oatbran and enjoyed it atop 1/2 cup yogurt decorated with re-hydrated goji berries. I added the last 2 tsp of Artisana madademic-cashew butter as icing for my lucuma mountain.

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Ohh, memories. Dear Peru: I will be back.

After breakfast, I did some bedroom organizing/spring cleaning and then threw on my gym clothes (I plan to exercise eventually today) and went out for errands, some of which were food-related. I stopped at the grocery store because I read on Soap & Chocolate that blackberry sales in the city were in full swing. Diana was right! I got two bigger-than-normal (but still pretty small) containers for $4. I also hit up the post office to pick up some belated birthday treats from my sisters!!

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They know me so well 😀 Emily sent me running sleeves (those crazy-colored things spilling out of the “sister present ball”) that I can roll up or roll down depending on the weather, and Allie sent a bunch of tasty goodies: cherry pie and cashew cookie larabars, plum-flavored gummy candies, and yerba mate. Plus this perfect birthday card:

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I tried a plum gummy right away:

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Yummmmmmmm.

Followed by yerba mate, which I prepared with soy milk and honey as per the recommendation on the package (gotta follow instructions, right?).

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Delicious! Smoky and sweet — I love it. Thank you, amazing sisters!

Side note: the honey I used for the tea came from some Smuckers sample honey packets that my mom collected for me from various hotel breakfast buffets (like mother, like daughter). But, the point of this side note is that the baby Artisana nut butter jars are perfect holders from the honey, since I rarely use a whole packet in one go. My five packets of honey perfectly filled up two little jars, and now I don’t have to worry about how I’m going to finish that honey packet before it spills all over everything in the fridge.

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This just in: Look how green the mate turns as it cools!

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Also, you can get free chocolate today if you hurry (Thanks to Erin Gunn for the tip!)

What’s the craziest “souvenir” you’ve saved from a trip?

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11 thoughts on “Souvenirs

  1. brandi says:

    what a fun birthday package, and I’ve been seeing that lucuma powder everywhere lately.

    craziest souvenir – a strange stomach issue that pops up every now and then, which we lovingly refer to as “the honduran disease”. I’m hoping going back the second time will reverse it and take it back 🙂

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  2. sue says:

    wow i didn’t know you lived in peru for a summer- i am SO jealous! peruvian food is one of my favorites! glad you were able to find something that brought you back to it 🙂

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  3. Lara (Thinspired) says:

    Craziest souviner…I just whipped out the caramels that were on the pillows of our hotel on the night we got married! Um, next month is our ONE YEAR wedding anniversary. The scariest part is that my husband ate them.

    I have never heard of lucuma powder but I am intrigued! I’ve heard wonderful things about Peru. Maybe one day I’ll get to go 🙂

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  4. verbalriot says:

    I love the cup that yerba mate is in! So cute 🙂

    Hhmm…craziest souvenir…I don’t know about crazy, but I always steal those hotel things they hang on your door like “PRIVACY PLEASE” or “PLEASE CLEAN UP”

    I have a ton of them on my door!

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  5. Alison says:

    Thanks for letting us know about lucuma powder. Do you get it on the Internet or have you found it in stores?
    I brought back a bunch of red seeds from Taiwan (probably violated some customs policies). Taiwanese traditionally send them to people to tell them that they miss them. I’m thinking of sending them to friends. But I need to remember the folk tale first.

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