Headline: Celebrating Peruvian Independence – Plus Recipes!
Feliz Fiestas Patrias! On July 28, we proudly celebrate Peruvian Independence Day. On this day in 1821, José de San Martín declared our native country’s liberation from Spain after nearly three centuries of rule. More than 200 years later, we’re still partying!
Las Fiestas Patrias are some of the most important days of the year where we recognize our rich heritage. In our hometown of Lima, you’ll begin hearing the criollo music, a Peruvian mix of indigenous, African and European influences, begin to play the night before the big day. The festivities kick off in Parque de la Muralla, where you can see ruins from the foundation of Lima and the surrounding mountains. The president delivers a speech at the nearby Plaza de Armas, followed by a special mass. Later that night, a 3D light show at the Fantasia Fountain captivates crowds.
In Peru, where Leena & Lu partners with small women-run factories to produce our small-batch collections of organic cotton sleepwear, every town and city will celebrate. Streets will be filled with music, dancing and parades, fireworks light up the night, and families gather together over special food and drink to commemorate our independence.
We’re proud Peruvians today and every day. Leena & Lu works to preserve Peru’s stunningly beautiful natural environments by using only GOTS-certified cotton for our comfy women’s sleepwear. That means it’s better for both our country and our people. Through our business based in Peru and Atlanta, we support the local economy, and through our commitment to sustainability and equity, we make life better for farmers and factory workers.
To celebrate this special occasion, we’re sharing two recipes! The first is our favorite festive drink, the pisco sour. Pisco is a grape brandy made in the winemaking regions of Peru, and this classic recipe is both tart and sweet. The egg white creates a silky froth, while the Angostura bitters add an herbaceous kick and fragrance.
2 ounces pisco (we recommend Caravedo Mosto Verde)
1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
½ ounce simple syrup
1 egg white
Angostura bitters for garnish
In a cocktail shaker, combine pisco, lime juice, egg whites and a few teaspoons of simple syrup. Cover and shake for about 10 seconds. Add ice, cover and shake for an additional 15 seconds until the beverage is chilled. Double strain into a coupe or rocks glass and garnish with a few drops of bitters.
Then we’ve got the ultimate chaser: ceviche! This dish of citrus-marinated fish can be found in coastal areas all over South America, and nowhere does it better than Peru. You can use a variety of white saltwater fish in this recipe, like mahi mahi, sea bass, grouper, fluke, flounder or sole. The lime juice mixture used to “cook” the fresh fish is known as leche de tigre, and is a great hangover cure if you overdid it on the pisco sours the night before. Add some textural crunch to your ceviche with red onions, fried plantain chips or cancha, Andean toasted corn.
Classic Peruvian Ceviche
1 pound fresh white fish
⅔ cup fresh lime juice
2 garlic cloves
1 tbsp aji limo paste or 3 small habanero peppers, thinly sliced
½ cup coriander
Salt to taste
- Wash and pat dry the fish, then cut into one-inch cubes, removing all bones and scales.
- Squeeze limes into a bowl and strain the seeds. Avoid squeezing limes too hard to get a bitter taste from the pith.
- Put fish cubes into the lime juice, cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Turn each piece occasionally so it comes into contact with the lime juice. You’ll know it’s done when the white flesh looks opaque and it’s fall-apart tender.
- Add the peppers or paste, garlic cloves, ginger, coriander and salt, then refrigerate 10 minutes more.
- Before serving with garnishes, strain the leche de tigre. You can add it back to each individual serving to your liking or drink it separately.
What’s your favorite Peruvian dish? How do you celebrate? Let us know at email@example.com.