La Tía Delia – Congratulation, you’re in Paterson’s Peruvian Paradise

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010 | Restaurants

This past weekend, I learned that Paterson, NJ is a wonderful place, not only due to its breathtaking waterfalls, but also because of its historic silk industry, nearby American Labor Museum, and insanely good Peruvian food. Our friend and tour guide had to choose just one restaurant out of many, and that was La Tía Delia (or Aunt Delia, which makes me realize that the coffee liqueur, Tia Maria, must mean Aunt Maria). Apparently, any time you attach a familial name to food, people are more attracted to it– like “Grandma’s apple pie” sounds infinitely better than just plain-old “apple pie.” La Tía Delia made us the most delicious, homemade meal of rotisserie chicken, lamb stew, steak and onion stir-fry, creamy chicken & potatoes, and smokey bacon beans. It’s hard to imagine that there was any room left for dessert, but my friend spied some doughnut-like specimens on her way to the bathroom, so there was no question.  Dessert and coffee in funny mugs were ordered in abundance:

The Arroz con leche was rich and creamy, with a healthy dusting of cinnamon and a hint of cloves.  We then tried a mix of arroz con leche and mazamorra morada, which was even tastier.  Mazamorra morada, apart from having a kick-ass name, is a dark purple, jelly-like substance made from purple corn (maiz morado), pineapple, potato flour, cloves, and cinnamon, which is the strongest flavor.  During dinner, we had it in its drink form, chica morada.  The flan had a nice, eggy, custardy consistency, and a sweet, liquidy syrup to slurp up with your spoon.  Then there were the picarones, or fritters made from squash and sweet potato, which were the pièce de résistance.  They were fresh from the fryer, crisp on the outside, moist and doughy on the inside.  They weren’t very sweet on their own, but some thoughtful Peruvian way back when decided to serve them in a special syrup, made from chancaca (molasses tablet), orange peel, and (surprise, surprise) cinnamon & cloves.  The result is sort of a cross between honey and corn syrup.  One forkful of fritter + a dip in the syrup = Heaven.  Should you decide to make your own pilgrimage to Paterson, make sure to come on a Saturday or Sunday, because Aunt Delia only makes her picarones on weekends.

La Tía Delia
28 Market Street
Paterson, NJ  07505
c’mon, there’s no website, fool

2 Comments to La Tía Delia – Congratulation, you’re in Paterson’s Peruvian Paradise

January 27, 2010

Congratulation! Such a fine secretary!

February 20, 2010

This is fabulous, but you missed the chance for a shout out to (my hero) William Carlos Williams, author of a five volume poem–Patterson.
you write very beautifully! I do enjoy checking in. Come visit soon. Michael

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