Burgers: the American classic, the celebratory food of every Fourth of July and the foundation of McDonald’s, the largest fast-food chain in the world.
Not so fast.
Who would ever think that I would find one of my best burgers ever in…Lima, Peru? I was a bit skeptical of Papachos, the “AMAZING” burger restaurant that Peruvians and visitors alike couldn’t stop raving about. Yet, my skepticism quickly faded the moment I saw the burgers at the table next to us. Their size immediately drew my attention and as soon as I had my very own in front of me, I realized I was dealing with something truly awesome. I ordered a Burger topped with a fried egg (my favorite kind!), sweet potato fries, onions and a spicy aji sauce. There is absolutely nothing that beats the fried egg’s yellow yolk, running down my entire burger and subsequently, down my hands and face. Maybe I’m just a messy burger eater but I left Papachos in pure happiness, with the yolk and aji sauce stuck in the edges of my fingernails to prove it.
A little extra about Aji to share:
Aji pepper is typical of Peru and Incan culture across the western parts of South America. While the aji sauce on this burger contained a mixture of mayonnaise, ketchup, cilantro, and tomatoes to tone down the physical pepper, straight aji is by far the spiciest food I’ve ever tried. After growing accustomed to the spicy taste of aji sauce, I easily thought I could eat the pepper raw in a visit to our tour guide’s home. My large bite into the aji pepper resulted in an eyes-watering, nose-running, mouth on FIRE reaction to what I thought I could handle like a champ. In turn, I resembled more of a weezing little girl who in an attempt to soak up the spice, was strangely stuffing napkins in her mouth in the corner of the room. In retrospect, I was happy I tried it but nowadays, I prefer to eat my aji in highly blended sauces.