Having mentioned the three occasions on which we had pizza, I feel compelled to clarify that we did try other things in Bolivia. Our introduction to Bolivian cuisine started in Santa Cruz where we had some excellent food in my friend’s house, mostly involving stews and soups. One of them included a strange not-quite-a-potato ingredient which tasted sort of like a potato but was slighly crunchier and broke up into curved layers. Still in Santa Cruz we also tried “tatú” – a small armadillo – which came in its shell. (The tatú was intersting, but not particularly tasty. It was also a lot of work to separate the meat from the shell.)
In Samaipata we had some steaks with interesting sauces and a bit of
the “pique macho” that my friend ordered. Pique macho, which we later
tried again in Sucre, is perhaps the most consistent item on the
menues of Bolivian restaurant. It involves a pile of french fries
mixed with beef, sausage, tomatos, and onions.
After coming back to Santa Cruz we also tried a variety of excellent
cruceño dishes at la Casa del Camba. La Casa del Camba is a chain
that even has a website and is
supposedly planning to open a branch in the US, so keep your eyes
After Santa Cruz our food options seemed to be a bit more constrained, at least in restaurants. (The markets offered a variety of unusual foods, but after getting sick in Samaipata we were a bit timid.) We had llama a couple of times, which was invariably too tough. (We later tried alpaca in Peru which was a lot better. Peruvians told us that “nobody” eats llama.) The most memorable thing for me, however, was gigantic corn (maiz blanco) that we first had as a side dish in Sucre – with individual kernels about 10-15 mm in diameter it was at least twice as big as the corn I've seen before. It was also very good. In Potosi I enjoyed “lenguada” prepared from pig tongue and spices.
Of the northern Altiplano food, our favorite was the quinoa soup that we first had during the trip to Tiwanaku. We later tried quinoa as a side dish and were not impressed, but the quinoa soup was excellent everywhere we tried it (both in Bolivia and Peru).
When we later got to Lake Titicaca, the main entre was invariably “trucha” (salmon trout), though some restaurants offered it cooked in up to a dozen different ways. We had a pretty sad version of trucha on Isla del Sol but later had it properly prepared in Copacabana.