Food Culture Archives

Neto Solorzano and His Coffee Brand "Esencia" (David Knowlton)

Neto Solorzano and His Coffee Brand “Esencia” (David Knowlton)


By David Knowlton

Scents of coffee and chocolate swirled around Cuzco’s Plazoleta Espinar last evening, amidst a double row of white tented booths.  As part of the celebration of Cuzco in its anniversary month, the enormous province of La Convención which occupies Cuzco’s lowland north organized its producers of both chocolate and coffee to come and show their products in the state’s capital, while offering the public a taste of their quality.

This is especially important because so much of the public now prefers instant coffee, rather than the perfumed and subtle products of Cuzco’s own farms.  Much of its coffee production, as a result, goes into blends to produce jars of uniform instant coffee for Cuzco’s tables. Read the rest of this entry

By Brayan Coraza Morveli

Panqui a New Bread in the Display

Panqui a New Bread in the Display

Many things as important in Cuzco, but among them, bread may well be the most important.  The people of Cuzco eat a lot of bread.  Every day, the city’s ovens produce innumerable rolls—which are how Peruvians prefer to receive their bread, and in the course of the day they sell out.  They make a wide variety of diverse rolls, but the most common are pan huaro, pan oropesa, and specialty breads—panes especiales. Read the rest of this entry

Born by the Side of Andeans, the Potato

Colorful Potatoes (Photo: Wayra)

Colorful Potatoes (Photo: Wayra)

By Arnold Fernandez Coraza

Today, the 30th of May, we pay homage to the potato; it is the National Day of the Potato in Peru. This day reminds of the nutritional value of this native, Andean food, which we consume every day in the many forms of Peruvian food.

This tuber is one of the most important foods in Cuzco as well as of the nation. Almost all the dishes of Cuzco require potatoes as a main ingredient.

Much has been written about the potato and its varieties. People will continue to write about this magnificent food. Today, its long and broad history invites us to continue writing about its past, its present, and its future, as well as about the seemingly infinite variations found in this tuber. Read the rest of this entry

The Season for Sugar Cane is Here

Sugar Cane Season in Cuzco

Sugar Cane Season in Cuzco

By Arnold Fernandez Coraza

Periodically the seasons change in Cuzco. You can mark them by the different fruit and produce that arrives in our city. The markets are filling right now with delicious sugar cane. It is its season and it is for sale in Cuzco. Read the rest of this entry

Fresh, Ripe Coffee Berries (Photo: Walter Coraza Morveli)

Fresh, Ripe Coffee Berries (Photo: Walter Coraza Morveli)

By David Knowlton

It is easy to think of small farmers in the many scattered and remote valleys of Peru, with its highly broken terrain and very thin road system, as being traditional. One sees them wearing indigenous dress and living in self sustaining communities where there lives are spent in an annual round of agricultural work and ritual.

This romantic notion is widespread and false. Read the rest of this entry

Grilling Meat in its Juice Over Coals (Photo: Walter Coraza Morveli)

Grilling Meat in its Juice Over Coals (Photo: Walter Coraza Morveli)

By Arnold Fernandez Coraza

Grilled meat is one of the favorite foods of Cusqueños for a Sunday or any special day where the family comes together. They enjoy having a barbecue prepared under a radiant sun.

All the members of the family work to make the meal in a collective effort. People eat their meat along with boiled potatoes or huatia, baked potatoes. They always have on hand an uchucuta, a hot sauce, as well as a fresh salad. Read the rest of this entry

By Walter Coraza Morveli

Fresh Picked Corn

Fresh Picked Corn (Photo: Walter Coraza Morveli)

People who live in the countryside enjoy being able to eat the best, healthiest, and freshest foods.

When families get together to have a meal on a special day, especially Sunday, in the warm environment of a home. There they make all the preparations for a good meal together. Read the rest of this entry

A Young Barista’s Dream for Cuzco

Neto Solórzano V. Making a Latte Design (Photo: David Knowlton)

Neto Solórzano V. Making a Latte Design (Photo: David Knowlton)

By David Knowlton 

Young people dream. One world becomes another when their dreams take on passion, character, and reality.

One such dreamer on the edge of changing the world is Neto Solórzano Vizarreta. From a coffee producing family in remote Yanatile, of Calca Province, Cuzco, Nesto came to Lima to learn the art of coffee and to be a barista in order to make his dreams come to pass.

Neto’s hands move with passion as he talks about the troubles faced by coffee producers where they have little technical training and merchants decide quality and price. Read the rest of this entry

Holy Week Sweets Have Sacred Meaning

Empanadas and Maicillos (Photo: Walter Coraza Morveli)

Empanadas and Maicillos (Photo: Walter Coraza Morveli)

By David Knowlton

Cuzco returns to normal today, after a week of celebration. The morning begins with celebratory mass, for those who wish to attend, in honor of Christ’s resurrection, while in the Plaza de Armas, at the edge of the Cathedral the regular Sunday parade is schedule to take place.

In this way, mass in the Cathedral and civic parade on its edge, the twin poles of a Spanish society are re-established after a week in which the society and religion seem the same. Durkheim’s sacred and profane are distinguished again, even if in a seeming bout of Inca revenge both have their own sacred and secular halves within them. Read the rest of this entry

Chicken, Song, Food, and Fun

By Walter Coraza Morveli

Chicken and French Fries (Photo: Walter Coraza Morveli)

Chicken and French Fries (Photo: Walter Coraza Morveli)

“Chicken and french fries. Chicken and french fries. Chicken and french fries.” The caserita, vendor, shouts out as I approach. “Caserita, how about you serve me up a thigh here, and another over here. And, if you wish, give me lots of french fries. Make sure it all has that taste we love.”

Pollo a la brasa, rotisserie chicken, is famous all over Peru. You will find it here or there, wherever you go. There will always be a chicken shop tempting you. Besides being common on our streets it is Peru’s favorite food. Read the rest of this entry

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