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helados-ovniPeru’s coastline, from the border with Chile in the south to the frontier with Ecuador in the north, is sandy desert, dry as a bone. So dry that there’s no running water and most people store water in buckets or drink Inca Kola, the shiny yellow soda, to quench their thirst.


Valleys that drain run-off from Andean glaciers run due west and irrigate crops, but usually ones that don’t need much water. Lucuma is one of the few fruits that is uniquely Peruvian. It only grows here and it only grows on the coast. If you try to eat it raw, it’s a pulpy mess. But turn it into an extract, a reduction or a jelly and its flavour jumps out at you. If you are ever in Peru and need a post-surf treat, I recommend Helados OVNI, or UFO Ice Cream, in a town called Chilca, 63 kilometres south of Lima. Chilca, according to Peruvians, is a place where UFOs are frequently seen. OVNI, or Objeto Volante No Identificado, is the Spanish acronym for UFO. Helados Ovni just sells one flavor, lucuma, and it has murals painted above its store showing how the Martians land in Chilca just because they want to get their hands on tasty lucuma treats. The ice cream is out of this world and if martians like it, so will you!

Chilca residents also say they have discovered a new wave, which I checked out on Saturday. It’s big, bruisy and fast…

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