Archive for March, 2012

Weaving the Lliqlla

Weaving the Lliqlla

By Brayan Coraza Morveli (translated by David Knowlton)

There are many different ways of artistic expression in the City of Cuzco as well as ways of making your personal feelings known.   One of these is weaving rectangular cloths known as lliqllas in Quechua, or mantas in Spanish.  Not only are they beautiful, but they are useful.  That is why they are also called q’ipirinas, or things to make a q’ipi, a bundle.  They are often used for carrying babies and small children as well as your purchases, or other things.  But most importantly they are part of many women’s dress.  Made in different sizes and beautiful colors they bring joy when they are worn. Read the rest of this entry

Street Vendors of Cuzco

Selling in the Street 1

Selling in the Street 1

An army of vendors makes their way daily into Cuzco’s streets.  Some have licenses and permits, as well as formal stands, while others carry their goods in cloth and baskets.  Not only are they an important link in the distribution of goods to the public, they are a force that enables people without other work to find a toe hold in the economy and make some money, even if often only a small amount. Read the rest of this entry

The Mystery of Potatoes

Potatoes for Sale

Potatoes for Sale

By David Knowlton

Hidden beneath the earth, potatoes are growing in Cuzco.  Soon it will be harvest time and they will be lifted from their womb in the earth and either stored or brought to market.  New potatoes will become all the rage. Read the rest of this entry

Sauco Heals and Pleases Cuzco

Sauco

Sauco

By Hebert Edgardo Huamani Jara (translated by David Knowlton)

The Sauco tree is filled with life, its leaves dance in each breeze as if filled with vitality and it produces small purple fruit that are little balls of energy. They grow like grapes in bunches.  Not only is that fruit used to make jams, but the plant’s green leaves also concentrate its force to heal and nourish.  Sauco produces food and medicine and has been used by people since ancient times. Read the rest of this entry

Lament and Creation, a Poem by Luis Nieto Miranda

Andean Notch Flutes

Andean Notch Flutes

An electromagnet for tourists, Cuzco also has a long history of intellectual and artistic life.  Among its brilliant stars of the last century was the internationally celebrated native son and poet Luis Nieto Miranda.  Cuzco Eats takes pleasure in presenting here a translation of a poem of his from his work Charango–El Romancero Cholo exploring the local instrument that is neither Spanish nor Indian.  This poem grows between the Spanish guitar and indigenous flutes and drums at the same time Nieto calls it a yaraví, or lament,  an indigenous song form that was important in Inca music and memory.  Read the rest of this entry

Rocoto, the Hot Pepper of Cuzco

Rocotos

Rocotos

By David Knowlton

Looking somewhat like a red pepper, but with thicker, juicier walls, Cuzco’s favorite rocoto is a pepper on steroids of flavor and heat.  One of the five domesticated species of peppers, rocoto (capsicum pubescens) may well be the least known outside of its original highland home and yet it is one of the most flavorful of peppers and is absolutely necessary for Cuzco’s cuisine. Read the rest of this entry

Coca Leaves and their Llipt’a in Cuzco

Coca Leaves and their Llipta

Coca Leaves and their Llipta

By Walter Coraza Morveli (translated by David Knowlton)

Coca leaves come from a shrub that grows on the Eastern slopes of the Andes. Though controversial today because of international politics, it was the sacred plant of the Incas and still holds great importance for the people of Cuzco.  It is widely consumed in the countryside as well as in the city of Cuzco. Read the rest of this entry

The Seven Andean Flours

The Seven Andean Flours

By Hebert Edgardo Huamani Jara (Translated by David Knowlton)

The “seven flours” may sound like something from Snow White. But it is a Cuzco label for a ground meal containing a variety of grains and seeds, not necessarily seven, a combination of some of the following” quinoa, fava beans, soy beans, kiwicha (amaranth,) cañiwa (chenopodium pallidicaule,) wheat, barley, corn, peas, and sesame. It is much loved for breakfast and is considered a medicine. Read the rest of this entry

Popcorn in Cuzco

Magical Popped Corn

Magical Popped Corn

By David Knowlton

You know it is magic.  In this day of science we take so many things for given and this is really ordinary, something we have seen all our lives.  But, you have to admit it is magic when a little grain of corn bursts open into a white soft flower, magnitudes its size.   So much lies hidden in that little explosion that has even claimed Cuzco, as we shall see. Read the rest of this entry

Tuna Fruit, The Seasonal Offering of Cactus

Tuna Fruit

Tuna Fruit

by Hebert Edgardo Huamani Jara (translation by David Knowlton)

Where ever you go in Cuzco these days you are likely to find a fruit called “tuna.”  Looking somewhat like a small grenade, it is the fruit of the prickly pear cactus and is delicious.  Though filled with small, edible seeds, if you try it, its sweetness will grab you and make you want more.  Read the rest of this entry

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