TORONTO — Peruvian officials are inviting companies involved in the successful Toronto Pan Am Games, which concluded on Sunday, to share their expertise with Lima – host of the next Pan Am Games from July 26 to Aug. 11, 2019.
“You have already the technology, the logistics, the engineering, architecture, I want to invite all the Canadian corporations that were part of Toronto 2015 to be part of Lima 2019 because it will be a simple cut and paste,” Jose Luis Peroni, Director, Trade Office of Peru in Toronto told a large crowd at a Trade Office of Peru in Canada reception Saturday night in Toronto’s Distillery District.
“Everything has been done already, we don’t have to discover the circle.”
More than a hundred guests, including importers, exporters, and other business people, joined Peruvian officials, and friends of Peru, at the celebratory event which featured a traditional Peruvian dance performance, Andean music and a brief appearance by Peru’s athletes who competed in Toronto’s Pan Am Games.
It was a showcase of all things Peruvian and included the famous Pisco Sour cocktail, culinary samples of Quinoa-based dishes, and ceviche prepared by chef Giancarlo Colombaro.
Guests and people passing by the entrance to the event took turns posing in front of a giant poster of Machu Picchu, Peru’s best-known attraction. And while Peroni says he believes 96% of travel agents promote the mountaintop Inca ruins, there is much more to see in the country.
“We have Kuelap ruins, they’re huge. It’s amazing! They’re similar to Machu Picchu,” he said, adding that now is a good time to visit the important pre-Incan ruins (which contain 450 stone houses), because access to the site has recently been improved. Instead of a two-and-a-half-hour drive, the mountaintop site can now be reached in 20 minutes via a new French-built teleferico or cable car.
Other places worth exploring, according to Peroni, are the Nazca Lines and Caral, which he called “the oldest civilization in the Americas”.
Peru, which he said grows more than 3,000 varieties of potatoes and is the only GMO-free country, is also home to 28 of the world’s 32 climate zones, and 84 different microclimates, which allows for a wide variety of growing areas for products such as those showcased prior to the reception.
Some of the Peruvian “superfoods” that were on display (and that are available in Canada) included maca (a herbal plant native to the high Andes, which can be added to smoothies), quinoa, golden berry, pink salt from the Andes, sacha inchi (a seed from the Amazon region), various condiments, dried potatoes (used in stews), and purple corn – the juice of which is extracted and mixed with cinnamon, clove and pineapple to create a popular beverage called chichi morada (purple drink).