By Hebert Edgardo Huamani Jara (translation by David Knowlton)
People like sweets and the people of Cuzco are no exception. In the city are found a whole range of treats, from very traditional to innovative and modern. From what is sold on the streets to the restaurants Cuzco shows its flavors in ways that fit it into an international encyclopedia of desserts as well as show its own distinctive flair.
While formal restaurants innovate with local ingredients and global ideas, such as a crepe with sauce made from local fruit or a mousse of indigenous maracuyá (passion fruit), elsewhere we find things as traditional as
humintas (a sweet tamale) flavored with cinnamon and raisins),
the Holy Week empanadas,
api (a sweet and fruited gruel of purple corn),
quinua pudding (mazamorra de quinoa),
squash sweet (dulce de calabaza),
níspero sweet (a kind of loquat),
apple with molasses (chancaca).
One variation on these traditional desserts won the competition at the 2010 Dulce Peru competition held in Cuzco’s Regocijo Square. It was a fruited api which won and it can claim roots all the way back to Inca times when chronicles mention api by name.
One can find these sweets and many more in pastry shops (pastelerías), grocery stores, and some streets of the city, such as Calle Belén and the Jirón de la Unión among others.
In the future, Cuzco’s cooks and chefs will create new desserts, since the people of Cuzco are not hidebound traditionalists but are constantly adopting new
things and seeking to innovate.
Cuzco’s sweets make us forget our difficulties and lead us into a magical world. They also fill us with energy in order to live life intensely. All the calories they give our bodies are fuel that we need to burn in lots of fun activities in this enchanting city.
We should never forget that there is no happiness without sweets. All celebrations have their sugared touch.
Filed under: Food Culture
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