Tuesday, August 7, 2007


On Saturday, upon returning from Cusco (entries on that trip coming soon, I promise!) we gathered at an outodoor restaurant in Cieneguilla, a semi-rural district in the Lurín valley nextdoor to Lima itself and a popular location due to its sunnier weather. The centerpiece of the day and the main event of the reunionin general was a pachamanca prepared by the restaurant's staff.

A pachamanca is a method of cooking in which a pit is dug in the ground (pacha means earth in Quechua) and filled with alternating layers of food and hot stones. It is then covered with wet cloths and a sealing layer of dirt and allowed to cook for about 2 hours.

In this instance the restaurant had gone "high-tech" and substituted a brick and concrete basin for the hole in the ground. These contraptions still give delicious results -as in this case-, but the characteristic flavour imparted by the earth is missing.

While the food cooked, the family sat around chatting and enjoying the little bit of sunshine we were getting.

The food was served in nice individual eathenware bolws which helped keep the rest warm while one dug into the indiviadual portions. Each bowl contained a pork tamal, piece each of chicken, beef, and pork, a potato, a sweet potato, a piece of corn, a piece of cheese, some fava bean pods, and a sweet-flavored humita (like a tamal, but without spice and wrapped in corn husk instead of banana leaf).

Perhaps the highlight of the afternoon was when we lit the vaca loca (mad cow), with Mito carrying it:

I like the view of Nico diving under the table!


Anonymous said...

I love to read your blog, even if you are my son. It makes me want to go to Peru right now. But wait, I just got back a week before you did.
A small clarification, an humita is like a tamal but made of ground fresh corn, and a tamal is made of ground dried corn.

Juancho said...

Hi, mom!