Archive for June, 2011

Inka Roll

Inka Roll

By David Knowlton

Japanese food is stylish these days in Peru, and Peruvian Japanese cuisine — called nikkei — is part of the range of culinary exports Peru is making to the world. But in Cuzco there is a humble piece of Japan, named Kintaro (Plateros 334), that shakes off current trends and flash to makes solid and very tasty Japanese food for tourists and locals. Read the rest of this entry

to my andean season

Cajon and Guitar

Cajon and Guitar

Cuzco Eats is pleased to feature a poem by the poet Kildem Soto who has roots in his native Peru as well as in the United States where he mostly resides.  Soto’s work is passionate and rich.  In this poem he returns to his homeland on the eastern slopes of Peru’s Andes.  He uses a language similar to many bilingual poets that draws on the resources of both Spanish and English to make his poem work.  As a result, we have supplied a glossary below the English poem since Soto’s Spanish version does not rely on English.  Though writing about Peru, he creates the sensitivity of an American who lives, eats, and breathes in Spanish and English when in the US, in a language that the writer Ilan Stavans has described as a new tongue. Read the rest of this entry

A Pageant, a Fair, and Food

Prize Winning Suri Alpaca, Huancaro

Prize Winning Suri Alpaca, Huancaro

By David Knowlton

The sun bathes Cuzco in its light these days.  It moves through the city like a guardian, illuminating first this detail and then another.  It makes the city’s stones come alive.  They seem to move and change as the sun washes across them.   The clouds that weakened its enlivening gaze are mostly gone.  Some days they do boil up from the jungle, but mostly the sun, though weak, rules the sky and the city’s streets. Read the rest of this entry

Cuzco’s Festival Food for the Solstice

Ingredients for Chiriuchu Ready for Serving

Ingredients for Chiriuchu Ready for Serving

By David Knowlton with the help of Walter Coraza Morveli and Hebert Edgardo Huamani Jara

Cold and abundant. That is chiriuchu, the dish that is served beginning today and for the next week in Cuzco as it celebrates the Feast of Corpus Christi. It is a complex dish, bringing together in a towering mountain parched corn, different meats, and food from watery realms. And, over the next week almost everyone will eat this fascinating dish that is served cold, just like the season. Read the rest of this entry

Llantán, Cuzco’s Hot Sauce

Ingredients for Llantán Ready for Grinding

Ingredients for Llantán Ready for Grinding

By David Knowlton

Peru is a land with a rich variety of hot sauces made from its rainbow of ají peppers and herbs. To travel from town to town, or even restaurant to restaurant in a place like Cuzco, is to experience a revelation of flavors that add just the right zest to your food.

Since many restaurants for tourists and locals have abandoned this tradition in favor of the industrial bottle of imported vinegary heat called Tabasco, at Cuzco Eats we shall describe these other sauces that still live in Cuzco’s restaurants and homes. They are well worth tasting. Read the rest of this entry

Different Kinds of Potatoes as Huatia

Different Kinds of Potatoes as Huatia

By Walter Coraza Morveli and David Knowlton

Do you like baked potatoes? There really is something delectable about their crispy outer skin and the softness of their flesh inside. Well, this next week is when people in Cuzco celebrate the season by making baked potatoes in a particular way, known as huatia (whát-ee-ya), that is rich not only with flavor but with meaning. Read the rest of this entry

A Story of Chocolate in Cuzco

Unusual Truffles in Cuzco

Unusual Truffles in Cuzco

By David Knowlton

Chocolate and love fall together so frequently that as a couple they are a cliché. Yet in Cuzco a new cafe and museum bring them together in a story that is not only about good food, information, and helping people, it is a love story with twist, turns, and lots of chocolate. Read the rest of this entry

Adobo and Cuzco’s Red and White

Adobo, Red and White

Adobo, Red and White

By David Knowlton with the help of Hebert Edgardo Huamani Jara and Walter Coraza Morveli

Think of stewed, tender pork in a lightly sour broth, mildly seasoned with mild red aji, garlic, and a faint hint of cumin, and you have one of the classic dishes of Cuzco.  In fact the Peruvian food historian Rosario Olivas Weston writes that to visit Cuzco and not try adobo is a serious sin.  Why would this dish be so important? Read the rest of this entry

To Stave off the Cold, Emolientes

Drinking Emoliente, Cuzco

Drinking Emoliente, Cuzco

By David Knowlton

At the edge of night and the edge of day, times when cold comes down into town and settles for a bit, women with steaming carts and brightly colored bottles take up places on street corners throughout Cuzco.  These women are called emolienteras because they sell one of the most popular and prototypical Peruvian drinks, emolientes. Read the rest of this entry

Inca Condiments Still Flavor Cuzco’s Food

Selling Herbs in the Wanchaq market

Selling Herbs in the Wanchaq market

By David Knowlton with the help of Walter Coraza M. and family

So many things have changed since Inca times that envisioning Inca Cuzco often requires an enormous act of imagination amidst the Spanish colonial and the modern smog.

However some things, surprisingly, continue. One of these continuities is the use of certain culinary herbs, despite the addition of Eurasian condiments. And, unfortunately, most of these remain unknown to the outside world despite the Spanish invasion and its massive export of Peruvian foods to Europe and Asia. Read the rest of this entry

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