March 2013

A tast e of Cochabamba city :Paprika

As a mission of getting to know the gastronomic world of Cochabamba city, a bunch of young and enthusiastic people from different parts of the world visit some of the most wellknown but also some unknown restaurants, cafés and bars in Cochabamba. Out of it there will come several different and interesting reviews, which you can follow each month here in the Cochabanner.

By: Marie Cathrine Ettrup
Projects Abroad Volunteer
Ryde - Denmark

Laura with her Italian salad and Durazno juice

Photo: Marie Cathrine Ettrup

Paprika is a restaurant many people in Cochabamba - be it Cochabambinos, volunteers or tourists - know about. It is a big restaurant with room for many people, but it is divided into so many different rooms, that you only notice the big size if you go for a walk around the new-looking restaurant. The subdued lightning and the dark brown wooden furniture make the atmosphere cosy and you feel like this is a nice place to be with some really good friends or your boy- or girlfriend. Many of the other guests are either couples or a minor group of close friends or family. The five guests this Thursday evening sit down at a table upstairs on the outside terrace. There are both outside heaters and sunshades so it is possible to sit outside at any time of the day.

The five with this Thursday night’s important taste buds

Photo: Marie Cathrine Ettrup

To taste the mythic food of Paprika this night are Karin and Joanna from Germany, Ernesto from Bolivia and Laura and Marie from Denmark. As girls we share and as one of us has already eaten at home we only order the following: “Chilli con carne”, “Pizza Prosciutto” and “Ensalada Italiana” for the main dishes together with lemonade and juices of strawberry and peach. For dessert the choices end on “Mousse de Chocolate Negro”, “Terrina de Chocolate Blanca y gotas de Maracuya” and “Tiramisu”. The firsts, that get tasted, are the juices. For a while there is total silence around the black glass table. Then after a little while Karin breaks the silence and underlines: “When you drink one of these juices it is similar to eating the fruit just without chewing. These are very delicious juices”. “The lemonade is very fresh and it reminds me of a soda ice cream back from Denmark”, Marie says with dreamy eyes. Next thing on the table is the main dishes. “Wow that is a huge pizza”, Marie exclaims with the first glance on the food and continues: “It has a really crispy and thin bottom which I really like about a pizza. And do you know what, Karin? There is tomato on it”. “I like the thin bottom and the tomato, but I have difficulty in eating most of the cheese here in Bolivia”, Karin answers, though, after a while, the whole pizza is gone - with a little help from the others.

The huge but delicious pizza

Photo: Marie Cathrine Ettrup

Ernesto’s chilli con carne only releases positive reactions. Ernesto himself claims: “Fantastic! It is really good” followed by Marie, who says: “It is just spicy enough and is very tasty and delicious”. For the Italian salad for Laura, follows a special sauce and after adding this special sauce to the salad Laura lights up while eating. “This is so good with the sauce. That sauce is really great and it makes a big difference in the taste of the salad”, Laura says. For her coffee she can choose between white or black sugar packed in small packages with the restaurant’s logo on it. Fine it must be.

Photo: Marie Cathrine Ettrup

Then the desserts arrive and at least four pairs of eyes stare excited at the three plates. Every one of them is simple but yet exclusive in the decoration. You feel that these are desserts made with love. The comments are not to misunderstand when the four girls express what their taste buds are going through. “Mmh, this taste really good”, is what is possible for Laura to produce in between tasting the tiramisu. About Joanna’s dessert Karin and Marie agree on that: “We like that you at first get the taste of the sour passion fruit and then the taste of the sweet white chocolate slowly takes over”. For sure, every single bite of the “Terrina de Chocolate Blanca y gotas de Maracuya” is enjoyed as much as possible. But what has been tasted until now is nothing compared to the third dessert: the chocolate mousse. “It tastes of real chocolate and it has these little small pieces of chocolate in it. A very good mousse”, Marie describes and Karin states: “It is very good”. All the girls around the table look very satisfied when tasting the mousse. The evening could not have ended with a better dessert.

Mmh, the chocolate mousse is good

Photo: Marie Cathrine Ettrup

Paprika is one of the more expensive restaurants in Cochabamba, but you get good service, delicious food and beautiful surroundings for them. Your money is well spent with a visit to Paprika. In fact, the reason why this review does not get as long as most of the others is because, when you do not have that much to complain about, there is not that much to write. When nearly the only words about the food and the restaurant is words as: ‘good’, ‘great’, ‘mmh’ and ‘fantastic’, it is hard to write more than there has already been written. So I will let the stars for the food speak for themselves:

-Terrina de Chocolate Blanco y gotas de Maracuya
- Mousse de Chocolate Negro
- Ensalada Italiana
- The juices and lemonade
- Pizza Prosciutto
- Chili con Carne
The city we imagine
With this idea it is proposed to make a “sketch of the (urban) sexuality, a masculine and a feminine city; a sketch of a rich and poor city; a sketch of the movement, which route one has to take to arrive at a site, what is the landscape one sees or supports in a city on the way between work and house” 1.
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