The three hidden gems of Huanchaco

A fter walking around Huanchaco, up and down the beach boulevard talking to all the tourists and some of my volunteers, I have noticed a tendency in where people eat, drink and party. I love to find new things to do and definitely feast on something outside the box. I once heard from one of my friends that you could actually eat your way through one side of Peru to the other. So what can you find in Huanchaco that you might have passed, seen but never dared to try? Maybe you haven’t even seen the place. I have picked three definite musts, if you visit Huanchaco.

Emoliente – A word and drink that has been so difficult for many tourists to pronounce and swallow. If you have been up early mornings and or late evenings you will find him, because it’s often sold by a man, standing with his carriage: I call him the Potion Man. You know how in Shrek you could pick from different ingredients to make a love potion? Well, he does the same thing but more for your health than witchcraft. It is a hot tea-ish drink, a mixture of aloe vera and herbs; British people tend to like it. It has a weird consistency sometimes, but the one sold in Huanchaco is THE BEST!

The Potion Man is the one and only person selling Emoliente and to find him you need to be around the market area around 9am or 7pm, by the motor-taxi area in Huanchaco’s back alleys. The drink is said to be very beneficial for skin, stomach and helps fight colds. For surfer dudes, he mixes a specific drink that is supposed to boost your energy and help you surf your best waves. I call it “the hangover killer”. Now, even though I don’t drink alcohol, I have watched many of my fellow volunteers awaken from death of just a sip of this magic potion. For just one Sol you get two glasses and a great service from short, little, few worded, old man.

Raspadilla – Another difficult-to-pronounce word. It is basically slush, handmade and with more natural ingredients than the ones you are probably used to from home. The base ingredients are smashed ice, two different juice nectars and coconut milk. I love it! On a hot summer day, it is amazing! My favourite mixture is Maracuya, a Peruvian passion fruit (a little sour and sweet) and then mango. The fusion of those three ingredients will have your taste buds jumping for joy and make you feel refreshed. To get the best Raspadilla, you need to head to the part of the beach before the pier entering Huanchaco, close to the outdoor gym. The first guy who has a Raspadilla stand there is Senor Dante. He has a blue umbrella and a white carriage. He is tall, always wears a hat and has a beautiful smile. You will only find him between December and March. Otherwise, you will have to head to his restaurant in front of the market in Huanchaco. For 1.50 Sol you can get a plastic cup of the best fusion of flavours your senses will ever feast on.

Cremolada – Now this is a man who has understood that pleasure and health could actually be mixed. Around the corner from the famous bar in Huanchaco Mamacha, you will find Ocean Cremolada. Outside his little tienda, you will find a white board updated on a weekly basis with a new fruit list and an explanation of the benefits of each fruit: mandarin is good for pregnant women and nausea; lemon, high in antioxidants, good for the nervous system, etc. The cremolada man is Medicine Man, who will sell you a sorbet made of fresh, smashed and then frozen fruit, a sort of a natural ice cream (without the cream for the lactose intolerant) for a taste from heaven! So, if you have a headache, a cold, feeling a little down or just have a sweet tooth, this is a great place to get something fast and tasty. For two Soles you can combine a visit to the doctor’s without the hefty bill or injection and, instead, leave with a yummy feeling in your tummy!

Provecho!

R. Amad Al Sadi

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