Hebert Edgardo Huamani Jara

¡I am Peruvian!

¡I am Peruvian!

Cusco gets all dressed up in red and white during the month of July. Its streets, markets, commercial centers, and the majority of its businesses are decorated in these colors, whether with paper chains, balloons, small paper flags, or more. Wherever one goes down the arteries of the city, whether in buses, taxis or private cars, you can feel the patriotism that unites us as Peruvians. Even the windshields show national pride.

The national symbols, the rosette, the national shield, and the flag are widely sold this month. They are offered with pins to wear them on your chest, as a sticker and in many other products so that patriotic colors fill the city and make you part of the celebration. Even lampposts join the party. They too are adorned in red and white, the colors of our Peru. Read the rest of this entry

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Walter Coraza Morveli

Charquecan Homemade (Walter Coraza Morveli)

Charquekan Homemade (Walter Coraza Morveli)

From the moment I arrived La Paz captivated me with its rich gastronomy. In the city all of Bolivia as well many nations are represented in the city’s food offerings. I was especially enchanted by the many types of typical foods of La Paz and elsewhere and how they were shared.

One weekend, the family who hosted us decided to prepare a special family lunch and share with us, in this way some of the best of Bolivia’s cuisine. Read the rest of this entry

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Arnold Fernandez Coraza

Dancing in a Cargo (Walter Coraza Morveli)

Dancing in a Cargo (Walter Coraza Morveli)

The fiestas of the Virgin of the Carmen are experienced in the enchanting town of Paucartambo which is just a few hours from the City of Cusco. To this place come people from all over Peru and the world.

When I went there this year, many fascinating things that take place there struck me, especially the cargos, the tasks and places where cargo holders host the dance troupe they sponsor as well as guests. Read the rest of this entry

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Hebert Edgardo Huamani Jara

Virgen del Carmen Blessing the Pilgrimage in the Bridge (Walter Coraza Morveli)

Virgen del Carmen Blessing the Pilgrimage in the Bridge (Walter Coraza Morveli)

The feast of the Virgin of the Carmen began the 15th of July and went through the 17th in Paucartambo, a provincial town in Cusco. It draws many faithful and visitors from all over the world. It is one of the most anticipated celebrations in Cusco. Once a year people gather to be part of the much-loved fiesta.

Some two weeks before I went to Paucartambo I remember hearing people in Cusco talk about it and and many were making preparations to go. Wherever I went, it seemed, I would run into friends and others who were excitedly planning their itinerary for their three days of the feast. Read the rest of this entry

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather
Saqras Carrying a Burning Cart (Walter Coraza Morveli)

Saqras Carrying a Cart Burning (Walter Coraza Morveli)

The Mapocho River separated the two imposing mountains that watch over the population of Paucartambo. They have interesting and traditional histories that run from mouth to mouth among the people. The feast of the Mamacha Carmen, the Virgin of Mount Carmel, is very intense. All of the visitors are drawn in by the music, the color, the taste of the food and especially the warmth and charm of Paucartambo’s people.

Out of all of this, a story told me by a friend I made from Paucartambo while there during the feast. It was night when Maycol (Michael) told me that in one of the mountains there is a rocky and black place. There you find a spring, an eyelet, from which water flows. But there I also a story that from that place Nina Saqras come out. Read the rest of this entry

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Walter Coraza Morveli

La Paz Favorite Homemade Falso Conejo (Walter Coraza Morveli)

La Paz Favorite Homemade Falso Conejo (Walter Coraza Morveli)

The first dish I had during my recent visit to La Paz, Bolivia was falso conejo, something that is a Bolivian treat and typical of La Paz. My friends and I stayed with a wonderful family in El Alto that always receives us with open arms and to celebrate our arrival they prepared and served up this enticing treat.

This dish is mostly prepared at home, although I am told you can find it in a few public markets, such as in Copacabana. Nevertheless, as the say, the best food is always that which is homemade. Read the rest of this entry

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

David Knowlton

Grinding Hot Sauce on a Traditional Batán (Walter Coraza Morveli)

Grinding Hot Sauce on a Traditional Batán (Walter Coraza Morveli)

Scientists tell us it is the quantity of capsaicin peppers have that makes them hot and spicy to one degree or another. The spiciness is generally measured in Scoville units and different kinds of pepper are given general ranges. 

That they come in ranges suggests that two peppers of the same kind may have different degrees of heat. 

As a result of the variation, people in Cuzco look for other explanations of why some hot sauces, made with the same kind of pepper, a rococo let us say, are hotter than others. Here, in Spanish, they ask why one sauce is more picante than another made with the same pepper. Read the rest of this entry

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

David Knowlton

Strawberry jam and Ciabatta Bread

Strawberry Jam and Ciabatta Bread

Far too frequently, you are in a Cusco restaurant, even a good one, eating the breakfast you ordered and you notice the strawberry jam that was supposed to be there for your bread was not there. You ask. They tell you, “we ran out of jam.”

So ordinary and so frustrating. This happened to me this morning in Kushka…afe on Espaderos Street. The place was full and the young man serving had to go around telling everyone there was no jam. Read the rest of this entry

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Walter Coraza Morveli, Arnold Fernandez Coraza, and Hebert Edgardo Huamani Jara

A Stand of Corn and Its  Varieties

A Stand of Corn and Its Varieties in Huancaro Fair

This year, after a break, the objective of the Huancaro Fair was reclaimed, to give a public space to Cusco’s agricultural and livestock producers. It takes place between the 20th and 20th of June in the Huancaro Fairgrounds. Producers from the thirteen provinces of Cusco and from other regions of the country are present.

It was fascinating and a great learning experience to visit this state fair held in Huancaro where all the diverse climates and areas of Cusco and other regions come together in a single space. Read the rest of this entry

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

David Knowlton

Qoyllur Rit’i , Sinakara (Walter Coraza Morveli)

Qoyllur Rit’i , Sinakara (Walter Coraza Morveli)

Smoke flowed in a cloud over the grassy lands to the side of Saqsayhuaman from early in the morning and traffic was heavy. Long before the crowds arrived at the site of the ancient temple of Saqsayhuaman for the performance of the Inti Raymi pageant with its honoring the sun and sacrifice of a llama for Cusco, people were already on site.

Before noon the grassy grounds were covered with perhaps as many as thirty thousand people opening the earth and stacking clods in carefully constructed hive ovens which they would then fire up until very hot and then fill with potatoes and other tubers before collapsing it and letting them cook. Many others streamed in through out the day to make their own ovens and eat huatia, earth oven cooked food. Read the rest of this entry

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather