Chiles are now Grown in Peru and Exported to Mexico

By David Knowlton

If there is anything more Mexican than guajillo chiles, reddish, spicy, and yet a bit sweet, or the green fire of jalapeños I do not know what it is. Yet, if you go to a market, local or super, in Mexico to buy them, chances are they come from China or Peru.

I found this out when I went to a Mexican wholesale market here in Salt Lake City, Utah, United States, after watching a Diana Kennedy video on YouTube. Read the rest of this entry

Noodles Delight and Inspire Creativity in Cuzco

By Arnold Fernandez Coraza

Enticing Tallarin Saltado from Cuzco (Walter Coraza Morveli)

Enticing Tallarin Saltado from Cuzco (Walter Coraza Morveli)

We have a wide range of dishes in Cuzco, both typical and not typical, that are prepared daily by our chefs. Thanks to the great variety of foods that is grown nearby, our cooks are constantly innovating new offerings. They constantly give us new delights.

We have dishes for special moments, such as when, for example, you celebrate a birthday. On those days it is common to have a roast chicken (pollo al horno) along with a Russian salad (ensalada rusa) and out hot sauce (uchukuta) that can never be missing from a table. Read the rest of this entry

Arequipa’s Passion Takes On Peru

A Delicious Frozen Cheese

A Delicious Frozen Cheese

By Brayan Coraza Morveli

Queso Helado, frozen cheese, is a well known desert in Peru. Day by day its taste captivates more and more people. It has a delicious flavor because of the ingredients that it requires. What is funny, though, is that it does not taste like cheese despite its name.

This creamy treat comes from Arequipa originally. It is one of the places in our country where milk is produced. It is also where the largest dairy companies are centered, such as Gloria, S.A., the largest and most well known. Since good quality milk is found there and is canned, people used cans of condensed milk along with grated coconut and cinnamon, cloves, and vanilla to make queso helado. Read the rest of this entry

Coming Together, Earth, and Baked Potatoes: Huatia

By Shawn Dallas Stradley

Sweet Baked Potatoes (Walter Coraza Morveli)

Sweet Baked Potatoes (Walter Coraza Morveli)

Kindness, generosity, family, grace. This is huatia. Definitions can include something primal, beyond ancient, and mother earth, better called in this place Pachamama. This is where we begin. This is where food begins. This is where community is born. These are big abstract concepts for this out-in-the-country, earth-based method of cooking potatoes. Read the rest of this entry

Sharing Cuzco with Trevor

By Arnold Fernandez Coraza

Trevor in Tres Cruces, Paucartambo, Cusco (Arnold Fernandez)

Trevor in Tres Cruces, Paucartambo, Cusco (Arnold Fernandez)

Two months ago I had the opportunity to meet Trevor. He was a very friendly guy who had come to Cuzco from the United States, the state of Ohio. We met in Maximo Nivel, a language school, through their Tandem program. That is one of the benefits of studying there. In it a student of English can practice their English with a native speaking foreigner while they get to practice the Spanish they are learning with you.

We worked together in Tandem for almost a month. Every day we would practice for an hour. Sometimes, though, we would stay much longer, learning things from one another and drinking cups of coffee. Read the rest of this entry

The Massive Jungle is At Risk

By David Knowlton

The jungle seems endless, a mass of trees filled with life. A whole world, as if a separate planet somehow opened where the snow-clad Andes plunge into the lowlands. Yet it is not endless and much of it is ending as we can see in Madre de Dios, the Peruvian region next to Cusco.

Indeed, this region ensconced between the Man National Park and the Tambopata National Preserve is facing increasing deforestation. Not only is it the home of an unbelievable natural biodiversity, it also holds areas dedicated to the protection of isolated Indians, those who used to be called uncontacted tribes. Nevertheless, the region faces severe deforestation. Its rates have gone up some 400% since 2008 and this year it is likely more than 6100 hectares or 24 square miles of forest will be lost. Read the rest of this entry

Coca Should Always Be Shared

Coca leaves and Llipta (Walter Coraza)

Coca Leaves and Llipta (Walter Coraza)

By Donaldo Humberto Pinedo Macedo

I am not a Quechua native and I did not grow up in the cultural context in which it is common to chew or, better said, do the hallpa of coca leaves. Nevertheless in every moment of my life coca leaves have been present.

Now that I think about it, my mother grew up in the valleys of Paucartambo Province, in Kosñipata. These valleys along the Tono and Toayma rivers are famous in Cusco’s history for their production of coca. I also learned to appreciate and respect coca leaves thanks to my step-father. He stayed very close to the principles of the k’intu (three leaves placed on top of each other). These are munay, yachay, and llankay, which mean feeling, wisdom, and work. Read the rest of this entry

The Reason for Eating

By Shawn Dallas Stradley

Uchukuta, Cuzco's Hot Sauce (Walter Coraza Morveli)

Uchukuta, Cuzco’s Hot Sauce (Walter Coraza Morveli)

Walk into a restaurant. Sit down. Review the menu. Order food in Spanish or in English, or a tourist mix of both. Wait.

This sequence is similar to everywhere else in the world. The ordered food will begin to arrive, along with a small dish or two not ordered the condiment.  It  is the reason for the rest of the food. Aji. Read the rest of this entry

Lamb and Mutton are Favorites in Cuzco

Fried Mutton Ribs (Walter Coraza Morveli)

Fried Mutton Ribs (Walter Coraza Morveli)

By Brayan Coraza Morveli

Sheep are very well known in Cuzco. We know them not only for the wool for for the fine mutton they produce. We make many tasty dishes from lamb. In Spanish we call them cordero, and this refers to both male and female sheep when they are less than one year old. When they are older than a year we call them carneros.

Lamb meat is high in calories, proteins and fats. It also has lots of cholesterol, vitamin, and minerals such as iron, phosphorus, potassium, and others. Furthermore it tends to be very tender and juicy. Depending on the age of the lamb, the meat tends to be somewhere between very soft and tender. Read the rest of this entry

Mistura’s Worlds Promote Fun and Family Farms

By Alberto Coraza Taco

Entering MIstura 2014 (Giancarlo Gallardo)

Entering Mistura 2014 (Giancarlo Gallardo)

Six years have gone by since this gigantic fair opened its doors. Always well organized where different kinds of Peruvian cuisine are separated into worlds.

There is the world of the north where food rich in seafood, stews, dressings, and such are served. It is the cradle of our famous mirasol aji and our red aji which are justifiably considered the heart and soul of Peruvian cooking. Read the rest of this entry

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