Aji de Gallina at Morocho, Dish #83

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Welcome to 100 Dishes to Eat Now, the tasty countdown leading up to our "Best of 2012" issue. Tune in each day (weekends too!) for a new dish from the Fork in the Road team.

Morocho is a really good food cart that usually parks on the sidewalk (because it can!) just south of 15th Street and Union Square West, next to a line of food trucks. It claims to serve "Peruvian Fusion," and that's partly true, though a large share of the menu is unreconstructed Peruvian food of high quality for the price.

Aji de Gallina, which translates something like "Yowie of Hen," is often regarded as the national dish. It consists of shredded chicken immersed in a cheese and tumeric sauce, which is wonderfully mellow. The compound rests upon some sliced white potatoes, while the purple potatoes hand around on top with an egg and some sliced Peruvian purple olives. This is a wonderful lunch.

Aji is the name of the spicy yellow pepper that is at the heart of Peruvian cuisine. Supposedly, it's the sound of you screaming when you eat it.


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