"You know, you can live very well in Peru on very little money compared to here, but the problem is getting any sort of work there. The more genuine Peruvian products I can use, the more it helps people in Peru, where unemployment is so high. If they are able to sell these products to America, more people will be employed there growing them and sending them, and it will be better for everybody. We want to offer the people here the authentic flavors of Peru, and it is even better if it helps Peruvians as well."

Note: Just as this review was completed, the magnitude-8 earthquake struck central Peru, leaving countless thousands homeless and, far worse, destroying the delivery of potable water to the area, opening the way to a potential cholera epidemic. Peru is a poor but civilized and energetic democracy, so your donations will reach the people (not dive into the pockets of plutocrats). You can donate to House of Peru Earthquake Disaster Relief Fund at any branch of Washington Mutual Bank, or call Latin American Travel Services, 619-296-9579, or go to www.houseofperu.org, www.rescuetaskforce.org, or www.irteams.org. (Think of it like a foodie: A fine meal at Latin Chef will cost you mere pocket change. Pretend you ate in the Gaslamp or La Jolla instead, and donate the price difference to where it'll make a life-or-death difference.)

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