Guinea Pig Campaigns for North American Palates

Cuy the Way Cuzqueños Love It

Cuy the Way Cuzqueños Love It

Guinea pig meat, much loved as a festive food in Cuzco, as well as elsewhere in the andes, troubles many North Americans who see the animal only as a pet. Yet at the same time eating it seems both taboo and exotic. Many Americans and Canadians try the animal in restaurants when they visit Cuzco in part to break taboos as part of travel.

Yet with the migration of many Andeans to North America things are changing. The US Census reported for 2010 that 533,000 Ecuadorians, 462,000 Peruvians, and 83,000 Bolivians lived in the US. With their US born children these immigrants make for a very sizable community of probable guinea pig eaters, which is even greater if one includes North Americans who have learned to want to eat this rodent. Read the rest of this entry

Spits and Rollos Claim Cuzco

By David Knowlton

A Rolled Kebab Cut in Half (Wayra)

A Rolled Kebab Cut in Half (Wayra)

The streets of Cuzco’s colonial core are different every time you walk down them. Sure, the buildings stay much the same, whether you are looking at old pictures or remembering them from when you last visited them. They do vary over stretches of time, however: a new detail here, a different color there.

You need to only go into the museum of Casa Concha which houses the Yale Machu PIcchu collection and was an important place in its own right. It shows you some of the differences of that building in different times. Read the rest of this entry

Caldos, Soup as Breakfast in Cuzco

Caldos, Soup as Breakfast in Cuzco

By Brayan Coraza Morveli

Every morning people begin their day taking their daily breakfast. They may do so at home with their family or in the street with friends and acquaintances. There they may enjoy breakfasts such as maca, quinoa, 7 flours, tea, coffee, bread, and more.

One breakfast that many, if not all, cusqueños prefer, is composed of caldos, soups—chicken soup, adobo, beef knuckle soup (caldo de patitas), tripe soup (caldo de panza)—as well as main courses such as rice with egg. We love this, even though they make some people think this food is more appropriate for lunch than for breakfast. Read the rest of this entry

A Different View of Paucartambo in Pictures

By Walter Coraza Morveli and Arnold Fernandez Coraza

Chukchu Dancers Performing in the Plaza (Walter Coraza Morveli)

Chukchu Dancers Performing in the Plaza (Walter Coraza Morveli)

The fiesta in Paucartambo of the Mamacha del Carmen, the Dear Lady of Mount Carmel, is a big feast that captures and conquers everyone with its intense celebration, folkloric dances, and its bright, colorful dress.

This beautiful small town is located in the middle of imposing high mountains and a nice river called Mapacho whose pure water comes down from the glaciated mountain “ Apu Ausangate¨. The people of the town make you feel in a warm place that gives you peace and shows you a different life than the city. It has a beating, living culture.

Paucar is a small place but with a big heart. Read the rest of this entry

Saqsayhuaman and Sunday Fun (Wayra)

Saqsayhuaman and Sunday Fun (Wayra)

By Arnold Fernandez Coraza

Above Cuzco rests the archeological complex of Sacsaywaman. It id known for its massive, zigzag wall of finely cut, but immense stones. Yet the park of which it is a part also has grass park-like land that draws many people. Not only is this a place that draws tourists and visitors to its constructions of festivities such as Inti Raymi, it also is popular with the people of Cuzco throughout the year.
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Catching the Sun’s First Rays

By Arnold Fernandez Coraza

The Sun Rising from the Abyss (Arnold Fernandez C.)

The Sun Rising from the Abyss (Arnold Fernandez C.)

In the festive calendar Cuzco, July means that at the end of the month we have the celebration of our country, on the 28th, and before then the fiestas of Paucartambo, This town, some three hours from Cuzco by bus, is very well known as a party town because of all the celebrations that take place around its feast that honors the Virgin of Mount Carmel.

The main day of the feast is the 15th, which this year fell on a Tuesday. That was when the majority of travelers decided to embark for the town. Read the rest of this entry

Qoyacha Dancers

Qoyacha Dancers

By Walter Coraza Morveli

Three days you will not ever forget take place if you go to the fiesta in Paucartambo. You experience faith, dancing, fireworks and so much fun.  Together they make this fiesta the best one of Cuzco.

Thousands of people from different cities of Peru, as well as tourists, come to this nice small town to celebrate a feast that last three days you will never forget in Paucartambo. Faith, dancing, fireworks and so much fun make of this festivity the best one of Cuzco.

Thousands of people from different cities of Peru and also tourists arrive to this nice small town to celebrate the festive of the Virgin of Carmen who is also called the Mamacha del Carmen. Read the rest of this entry

By Brayan Coraza Morveli

In Cuzco we have places that are called quintas, which are outdoor gardens with tables and food, as well as often performances. We also have peñas that are more indoor places with food and live music and dance. We also have places that are hybrids, a mixture of these with other forms such as a picantería, a traditional restaurant with chichi and spicy food.

All together, these are the best places for taking your family to enjoy a good meal, both typical Cuzco style dishes as well as Creole food from the menu, along with good music, often danceable, as well as the fine decoration. The quintas and peñas often have a long tradition of being passed from parents to children. They continue generation after generation. The whole family often works there. Read the rest of this entry

People Demand Noni in Cuzco

Noni, a Strange yet Healthful Fruit (Wayra)

Noni, a Strange yet Healthful Fruit(Wayra)

By Brayan Coraza Morveli

Noni is a fruit that is becoming very well known because of its nutritional and health properties. It is about the same size s a potato, has a yelowish color that becomes white when the fruit is ripe.

It comes to us from Asia, Central America, and Oceania. Those are the places where None grows. Just s Peru exports its agricultural products, so too do they and their goods enter our diet. Read the rest of this entry

Passion, Drama, and Difference in Paucartambo

Mamacha del Carmen

Mamacha del Carmen

By David Knowlton

Beginning today, the feast of the Virgin of Paucartambo begins and people trek hours over the mountains to this valley near the jungle to dance and watch troupes of sacred figures course through the city. They also come to feast, to eat till filled with the festive offerings of the sponsors of the feasts and to enjoy the street foods and restaurants that appear for these days.

Cuzco’s calendar of feasts not only stresses events that take place in the city, it also involves some regional feasts, when dance troupes who have practiced all year travel out of devotion and social obligation to make their costumes come alive. The figures of history and cosmology come alive as they claim the spaces of these regional centers. Read the rest of this entry

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