Thursday, November 18, 2010

2010 Peru Inspired Gift Guide

If you're looking for Peru inspired gifts, you've come to the right place! Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Food and Drinks
Paneton and hot chocolate is a staple during the Christmas season. Don't forget a Peruvian mug. While some might snub their nose at fruitcake (paneton), Peruvians love it. Drinking hot chocolate during summer might seem odd, but hey, it's Christmas, so why not?

There are a number of Peruvian desserts you can try. Turrones are a sticky sweet treat topped with small candies. Alfajores are cookies with manjar blanco (caramel) in the middle and then either covered in powdered sugar or dipped in chocolate. King Kong is similar to an alfajor and has layers of cookies with manjar blanco (caramel).

Peruvian grains are becoming famous around the world. If you're looking to give a healthy gift then try kañiwa. Considered a modern super food, it was part of the Aztec and Incan diet. It's much better than rice and packed with nutrition as well as high in iron.

For the cook in your life, Peruvian cookbooks are the way to go. They'll find great recipes like ceviche, lomo saltado, aji de gallina, papa rellena, and much more.   


Alpaca
Wool socks are a game changer. Once you try them out you won't go back to cotton socks. They can last for years, are much better for your feet than cotton since they're anti-fungal, and many of them can be tossed in the dryer. Alpaca is superior to wool since it is softer, warmer, and has no lanolin which means it's hypoallergenic. Alpaca socks aren't as cheap as cotton socks, but you're paying for quality. Considering how much use you'll get out of them, they are a relatively inexpensive gift, so buy a pair or two for yourself as well.

Alpaca sweaters are warm and have gorgeous designs. They're super soft and people love wearing them. Traditional Peruvian hats, such as the chullo, will keep your loved ones warm through the cold winter months. Don't forget a warm shawl or even a poncho that they can wrap around themselves to protect them from windy days.

Alpaca can be used for more than clothing. It also makes great blankets and throws. It's great for cozying up on the couch and drinking hot cocoa, from a Peruvian mug, of course.

For the Home
If you know someone who could benefit from the gift of music, let the relaxing sounds of traditional Peruvian music take away the holiday stress. For the musician in your life, let them make their own music, you can get them a pan flute, rain stick, or if they're more adventurous, the cajon.

Ornaments make great gifts. There are a number of Peruvian ornaments out there, such as Machu Picchu, nativity scenes, llamas, and the Peruvian flag.

Books
The new year brings resolutions and many people choose to learn a language, such as Spanish. Some popular programmes are Rosetta Stone, Pimsleur, and Madrigal's. For the non-linguists, there are a number of good books about Peruvian history, such as the New York Times Best Seller: Turn Right at Machu Picchu and The Last Day of the Incas.  

More Gifts
If you're looking for more ideas, here are other Peru inspired gift guides I've written.


The Ultimate Peru List recommends:

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