Traditional Paraguayan cuisine goes gourmet in Pakuri. Located in Asunción, this upscale restaurant has put the traditional Paraguayan cuisine on the international culinary map, by combining classic and contemporary in its dishes. The restaurant has an angular, contemporary structure made from converted shipping containers, with up-and-coming Paraguayan artistic décor and a wonderfully large, lush tropical garden.
The first thing they serve is a complimentary dish – mandioca balls with a side serving of tomato. This is followed by sourdough bread that is crusty and made of round chickpea flour. This is accompanied by ‘miel de caña,’ which is a type of sugarcane honey. Butter is singed carefully on the bread the right amount in order to give it a smoky and caramelized flavor. They bake the bread in a giant Paraguayan traditional wooden oven, which is sphere-shaped and is better known as ‘tatakua’.
Classic Meets Contemporary
One of the most popular foods of Paraguay, ‘sopa paraguaya’ is also prepared in the tatakua. This baked solid soup is the country’s favorite dish. At Pakuri it comes with a deviating creamy-smooth texture with a crispy all-around crust on top. For something lighter, there is handmade gluten-free pasta stuffed with greens and plated with a serving of beetroot sauce that is lightly smoked and has a fruity aroma.
In classic dessert, they serve candied papaya that is syrupy along with tiny cubes of local soft cheese, mature cheese ice cream, and tofu.
Raising a Glass
Pakuri adds a twist on the country’s favorite drinks too. ‘Cocido Ka’ure’ is a popular local drink. This yerba mate drink generally is made by putting a burnt mixture of sugar and mate on hot coals. These ingredients are then boiled with water. This creates a type of caramel-flavored, hot tea. At Pakuri, it is reduced to a syrup and is then served with caña (a local herb mixed Paraguayan sugar cane spirit), and grapefruit, and gin. Pakuri undoubtedly serves a never-had-ever culinary experience, giving a modern makeover to time-honored local dishes and hearty family favorites of Paraguay.
The Best Hidden Gems to Explore Along the Danube
The Danube is the second-longest river in Europe and has plenty to see along the way. All ten countries bring something different to the river. Here are the best hidden gems to explore along the Danube.
Wachau Valley – Austria
You’ll probably want to plan a longer stop at Wachau Valley to make sure you have the time to take it all in. Hiking and cycling are the best ways to see all the hidden buildings tucked around Austria’s contribution to the Danube.
Esztergom – Hungary
This bustling city takes center stage on the river as the tall buildings and flowing city walls help bring it to life. One of the best views of the area and the Danube can be found when you climb to the top of the walled castle.
Novi Sad – Serbia
If you want a quieter city to enjoy on your journey, then why not stop off at Novi Sad in Serbia? There are few crowds, yet the area is still filled with plenty of historical monuments and buildings to explore.
The Iron Gates Natural Park – Romania
Changing river widths, towering buildings, and a larger than life sculpture – the Iron Gates Natural Park in Romania has it all. There is plenty of Medieval history in the area, as well as several opportunities for photos.
Weltenburg Abbey – Germany
One of the hidden gems along the Danube comes in the form of Weltenburg Abbey. Believe it or not, but it was once used as a brewery. Now, the 18th-century chapel stands proudly against the water’s edge. You can even dip your toes in the river from the shingle beach on the shore before continuing on with your journey.
The Danube river stretches through ten countries, each bringing its own beauty to the river. A trip down the water can be like taking a step back in time.