A legacy of a rich Andean tradition Chiri Uchu, Cusco gastronomy offers a wide variety of typical dishes that are still valid and served in the lively chicherías and picanterías of the cosmopolitan city of Cusco.
Chiri Uchu is the flagship of the city of Cusco and means hot or cold pepper in Quechua, this stew from the time of the Incas and the colony combines ingredients from the mountains and jungles of Peru, making it a star dish. Cusco cuisine, as it consists of seaweed, egg cups, guinea pigs, chicken, jerky, black pudding, potatoes, corn roast, cheese and rocoto.
There are many stories about the origin of this dish, dating back to the Incas, where the reason for each ingredient in the dish is explained.
– It is said that it came from Aynis (system of reciprocity of family work between members) because at the end of the workday, each Ayllu (family community) shares the best of their homes with others, thus creating a mixture of foods from the Coast., Mountains and jungle that create great feasts.
– In 1572, the chronicler Pedro Sarmiento de Gamboa explains the duality that the ancient Peruvians used in their meals, which were divided into dishes that came from the country «male», the others were classified as «Chinese or female». Foods that are used in this dish, such as corn, guinea pigs, chicken, seaweed, egg cups, among others.
– With the arrival of the Spaniards in the lands of Cusco, the cults and rites are replaced by religious traditions, including Corpus Christi, a Catholic holiday that brings together the patron saints and the virgins of the parishes. Chiri Uchu was part of this development between the European fusion with Andean traditions.
Chiri Uchu started cooking the day before. First the roasted guinea pig is cooked in the oven, then the chicken and jerky are cooked in a pan, minced and placed in a container. The corn flour toast is made on the same day it is to be consumed.
Then the cheese pieces, Morcella, Tullan and Rocoto are placed in strips in a container. After all, all these products are served in a single dish and now is the time to try them (it is advisable to eat them cold).
Other ingredients that usually accompany this dish are cups of fried eggs and fried mountain tar. It can be decorated with cheese and pepper.
– This dish is usually served in June during the Corpus Christi feast, as the ingredients of this dish were sacrificed to the god Inti on the 24th of June, which explains its consumption that month.
– Chiri Uchu represents the duality of the Inca world, and since it was offered to the sun, a hot being had to eat this cold dish.
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