Archive for January, 2012

Two Words that Make Cuzco

Chicha Morada: Having Yapa

Chicha Morada: Having Yapa

By David Knowlton, Walter Coraza Morveli, and Hebert Edgardo Huamani Jara

Cuzco not only has Inca walls and an unusual collection of Spanish colonial buildings, it has many ways of being and acting that make it distinctive.  To be sure its elites have been trying to capitalize on its past and present  by trying to make it ever more Inca; the fiberglass statue of the Inca Pachacutec posed atop the fountain in the main square witnesses to this romance with an idealized past.  But as you walk its streets or go to the market  you will run into customs that, without comment, reach deep into the past and give Cuzco its being. Read the rest of this entry

Rue Brings Good Flavor and Fortune to Cuzco

Rue

Rue

By Walter Coraza Morveli  (Translated by David Knowlton)

The mythic rue, a plant whose name in English suggests regret, mysteriously unites two worlds–Europe and South America–through its aromas of curing, driving away evil, and attracting positive energies to whoever has it or uses it.  Even today it is  a fundamental part of Cuzco’s customary practices and esoteric culture. Read the rest of this entry

Peruvian Mixture

Peruvian Mixture

By Hebert Edgardo Huamani Jara (translated by David Knowlton)

As in its days of glory when it was the capital of a great Empire, Cuzco is a crossroads and a center of the arts.  People arrive from all over the world and meet its people and culture. This leads Cuzco to have a somewhat different gastronomy than the rest of Peru as the international influences mix with its strong local traditions. Read the rest of this entry

The Unexplained Mystery of Chifa in Cuzco

Chifa: Pork with Pineapple

Chifa: Pork with Pineapple

By David Knowlton

Chinese food, called chifa, is one of the most popular foods in Peru.  Benavides reports it comes third, following the inevitable pollo a la brasa (rotisserie chicken) and ceviche.  As a result, one could argue that it is almost as Peruvian as the colors red and white.  Despite this, in Cuzco its distribution is fascinating and telling. Read the rest of this entry

Street Food for Late Nights in Cuzco

Locro de Pecho with Spicy Salad Ready to Eat

Locro de Pecho with Spicy Salad Ready to Eat

By Hebert Edgardo Huamani Jara (translated by David Knowlton)

It’s night in Cuzco and the cold settles in. One might think the streets would be empty with everyone home in their warm beds. But no. This city still lives at night. People throng to its discos and bars and so many other people move around to serve them. And they get hungry. Read the rest of this entry

Rice and Fried Egg, Cuzco’s Favorite Fast Food

Rise with Fried Eggs and Salad

Rice with Fried Eggs and Salad

By Walter Coraza Morveli (translated by David Knowlton)

Peru may be famous for corn and potatoes, of which it seems there are an infinity of varieties, but it has become the land of rice. Peruvians eat more rice than the people of any other Latin American country. They love rice. As a result, the most popular fast food in Cuzco, and one of the most consumed, it a simple dish of rice with a fried egg on top. Read the rest of this entry

Waiting for a Coffee at Starbucks

Inside of Starbucks

By David Knowlton

Starbucks generally sucks the air out of local markets for coffee houses. Now that it has opened in Cusco, one might expect the same thing. But Cusco has its own strong culture and maybe its own establishments will survive. Some certainly have already faced severe adversity and made it through. In the honor of Starbucks opening let us look at some of the other places in Cuzco where one can have a cup of coffee and sit for a while. Read the rest of this entry

Machu Picchu Meets Cuzco in the Casa Concha

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu

By David Knowlton

Cuzco is the most important Inca site in Peru–far beyond Machu Picchu, even though Machu Picchu is justifiably a wonder of the world.  After all, Cuzco was the imperial center, the place where the Incas carried out their finest architecture and worked out the daily details of their splendid life at the center of the universe. Now, with the opening of the Casa Concha Museum,  we have a chance to appreciate this city of many levels as well as the wonders of Inca Pachacutec’s marvel on a high, mountain saddle. Read the rest of this entry

Don Chicho’s Empanadas, a Success

Don Chicho's Empanada

Don Chicho's Empanada

By Hebert Edgardo Huamani Jara (translation by David Knowlton)

The empanada is one of Cuzco’s favorite snacks and Don Chicho’s have become a Cuzco tradition.  His folded, savory pies captivate the most demanding palates of the city.  These crispy and tasty empanadas even please the eyes just from their detailed and layered texture and the special way in which they are sold.  Read the rest of this entry

Herbal Teas: Cuzco’s Traditional Medicine

White Malva

White Malva

By Walter Coraza Morveli and David Knowlton

Herbal teas are much of the traditional medicine of Cuzco. The city’s people may go to doctors or pharmacies when something is wrong with their bodies, but they are more likely to go to the markets where herb sellers listen to their stories about what ails them and prescribe for them teas from roots, leaves, and flowers, depending on what the specific ailment is. Read the rest of this entry

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