David Knowlton

The Boulevard of the Dark Woman, La Morena, romantically traverses a part of San Diego, California. It claims the charm, beauty and tempestuous fever of a Spanish gypsy while reminding me of older men, standing in line, and singing to the strum of a guitar a classic song of black, bandit eyes coming down from a wild and dark mountain.  Both the mountain and the owner of the enchanting and unforgettable eyes were called La Morena.

Nonetheless, Morena Boulevard despite its grandiose name is unimpressive, although on it I found a little Latin market with a solid collection of Peruvian foods for sale, including the dark and rich chocolate tejas (filled tiles), called Andrés. Read the rest of this entry

Gold’s Tragedy, a Folktale

Ancient Gold to Tempt the Bold (Larco Museum)

Ancient Gold to Tempt the Bold (Larco Museum)

Brayan Coraza Morveli

Gold is a precious metal that has significant value. As a result many people seek it in any way they can. They look for it in rivers and mines. Others use machinery to extract gold from hidden veins in mountains and hills.

Many stories, tales, and myths in Cuzco speak of the good and bad of gold. In many cases the yellow metal has brought tragedy. In others it has brought blessings.

Some people seek gold in what we call tapados, hidden caches, or in Inca tombs. These bring with them ancient difficulties and curses. Among these is what we call antimonio, antimony. While this word refers to the mineral, in Cuzco’s common usage it refers to noxious airs that come out of tapados and tombs. It is dangerous and can cause great harm. Read the rest of this entry

Cuzco's Plaza de Armas is Calmer (Walter Coraza Morveli)

Cuzco’s Plaza de Armas is Calmer (Walter Coraza Morveli)

Walter Coraza Marvel

Cuzco’s municipal government will continue with its pilot project to make the Plaza a pedestrian zone. Cars, buses, and trucks have been banned from the city’s main square and this situation will continue through April 29th.

Cuzco’s main square is calmer and feels more impressive. It looks better without the coursing vehicles and their exhaust. Pedestrians love not having to dodge threatening cars as they cross from one part of the Square to another. Both local residents and tourists find it a more tranquil and more attractive environment. Read the rest of this entry

Death, Mourning and Burial in Cuzco

takng the Coffin to the Cemetery

taking the Coffin to the Cemetery

Arnold Fernandez Coraza

Not infrequently people die in the city of Cuzco. This may be due to sickness or natural causes, but there is also vandalism and violence. In the last few years it seems vandalism is on the rise.

The consequences of this violence do not seem to impact those who do it. They do not care about the tears of family members nor, especially, of the many mothers who suffer the most and, sometimes, even decide to accompany their child to the next world. Read the rest of this entry

Brayan Coraza Morveli

Sweet Corn Cake (Hebert Huamani Jara)Sweet Corn Cake (Hebert Huamani Jara)

Sweet Corn Cake (Hebert Huamani Jara)

Corn is to the Americas what plankton is in the sea. It is the basic food, the staff of life from north to south. There are other foods, and certainly in the Andes the importance of potatoes cannot be overstated, nonetheless there is nothing like corn.

It is one of the most consumed foods in the Andean valleys and coasts. It is also very important to the culture of the people going back into the mists of time. Many indigenous people still treat corn as if divine. Whenever we eat it, spoken or not, we are returning to those traditions of our ancestors. Read the rest of this entry

Cuzco’s High Season of Celebrations Begins

High Season Ceremony at Qoricancha (Arnold Fernandez)

High Season Ceremony at Qoricancha (Arnold Fernandez)

Arnold Fernandez Coraza

In a majestic and beautiful ceremony this last Monday Cuzco announced the festivities it will carry out this year. The crowd was large and filled the space by the Qoricancha at 11 in the morning. Police protected the site and municipal authorities as well as those of EMUFEC, the municipal body responsible for festivities, announced the festive calendar to all around, among them locals and tourists.

When Cuzco’s mayor, Carlos Moscoso Perea arrived at the Qoricancha the ceremony began with typical dances from the provinces of Cuzco. Students from Cuzco’s universities were in charge of presenting the different dances. Read the rest of this entry

Double Honors for Cuzco

By Walter Coraza Morveli

Inca Fountain, Thanks Cusco (Giancarlo Gallardo)

Inca Fountain, Thanks Cusco (Giancarlo Gallardo)

Cuzco continues to receive recognition throughout the world.  Our Imperial City was elected the “Best Place to Visit” and the “Most Accessible Destination” in Central and South America by US News and World Report in its Travel Section.

We celebrate this double play. More than 214 million persons are expected to become aware f this important ranking in this major news magazine.  Cuzco was rated this year above the great Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires.  You can check the links here. http://travel.usnews.com/ Read the rest of this entry

David Knowlton

Nazca Grill, San Diego, California (David Knowlton)

Nazca Grill, San Diego, California (David Knowlton)

Peruvian food should take its place in the hearts of gourmands in the United States and Europe as well as in the ultimate manifestation of achieving the status of global ordinary, strip malls.

At least this is the dream of Gastón Acurio Perú’s much recognized celebrity chef and voice of a surging national cuisine. His dream is built on three legs: widespread international fame of Peruvian cuisine at the highest levels, the growth of fine restaurants offering Peruvian food, and the development of omnipresence as a basic food, such as is claimed by other major, ethic cuisines. The first two have been accomplished but the last not so much, yet. Read the rest of this entry

No One There, a Folktale

Cuzco's Dead and Living (Walter Coraza Morvel)

Cuzco’s Dead and Living (Walter Coraza Morvel)

Brayan Coraza Morveli

Stories are told all over the place. They just vary according to people’s traditions and culture. Here, in Cuzco, you often hear tales of condenados (the damned), ghosts, the machos (the ancient ones), trolls, and more. All of them form part of our culture and our traditions.

In many places you hear about people roaming around after they have died. In most places it is terrifying, while for others it is merely something unheard. A couple of years ago they told a story of a girl who died in the neighborhood of San Gerónimo in Cuzco. After her death, many people claimed to have sees her walking around the neighborhood. Read the rest of this entry

Cuzco’s Amazing Potatoes

Arnold Fernandez Coraza

The Wonder and Variety of Peruvian Potatoes at Mistura (Giancarlo Gallardo)

The Wonder and Variety of Peruvian Potatoes (Giancarlo Gallardo)

Potatoes are one of the most consumed foods in the City of Cuzco. It and its varieties constantly find their way into the typical dishes of Cuzco’s cuisine. It is also used in the daily fixed lunches offered throughout the city, such as the chuño lunch, the wheat berry lunch, and chaquepa lunch, and more.

There are many kinds of potatoes, in various colors, sizes, and tastes. Each has different roles to play in different dishes. Here are some of the names of the different potatoes found in our city and its provinces. These include la papa huairo, la papa canchan, la papa mariva, la papa seca, la papa compis, la papa peruanita, la papa ojos rojos, and more. Read the rest of this entry

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