“Chiriuchu or Cold food”, Famous dish of the region of Cusco
Every traveler that has visited Cusco can define it as magical not only for its history, culture, traditions, or customs, but also for its exquisite local cuisine.
If you haven’t yet arrived in Cusco, but have plans on coming soon, we recommend trying the famous and delicious dish called Chiriuchu. There are other dishes that are also highly recommended like chicharrones (fried pork), baked Guinea pig (Cuy), Capchi of Zetas, etc.
Now, we invite you to know the secret of “Chiriuchu, Famous dish of the region of Cusco”.
Chiriuchu comes from two quechua words Chiri which means cold and Uchu which refers to food. Therefore we can translate those words as “Cold food”.
There are many versions of this traditional food that dates back to the Incas time.
According to some historians, Chiriuchu could be part of an Andean duality. The Incas used this arrangement to keep society organized, uptown people (Hanan) and downtown individuals (Hurin).
In 1572, the chronicler, Pedro Sarmiento de Gamboa, explained the duality ancient Peruvians applied to their meals, which was divided into “machos (male)” food that came from the soil, and the others classified as “chinas or hembras (female)”, ingredients that are used for this dish such as corn, guinea pig, chicken, seaweed, fish roes, among others.
It is believed that it has its origins from the Ayni (an Andean reciprocity work system among families) because, at the end of the day, each Ayllu (family community) shared the best production from their lands with other families creating a mixture of food from Coast, Highlands, and Jungle.
When is Chiriuchu eaten?
Although Chiriuchu can be eaten at any time of the year, it is a tradition to eat it during Corpus Christi in June.
Cost: The price of Chiriuchu depends on the place you decide to eat it. It normally varies from 25 PEN to 30 PEN.
Chiriuchu Ingredients for 4 portions:
- White popcorn, known as cancha
- 100 grams of fresh cheese
- Baked Guinea pig
- 1 and a half kg of chicken
- a kind of jerky (chalona)
- Fish eggs
- 1 carrot
- 2 stems of leek
- Pepper and salt
- ¼ taza de huacatay
- 50 grams of sea weed
- 2 chorizos (pork sausages)
- 1 hot pepper in slices
- Torreja (a Spanish omelette with corn flour, compis potatoes, yellow squash, onion greens, and spices)
- 3 beaten eggs
- 50 grams of corn flour
- 130 grams of mashed pumpkin
- Preparation of Chiriuchu begins one day earlier. First, the guinea pig is baked, and then the poultry and beef jerky are boiled in a pot, then chopped into pieces and put in a bowl. The corn cake must be prepared on the day of serving.
- Then, the pieces of cheese, morcilla, tullán (guinea pig’s boiled tripe), and rocoto thinly sliced are put in a bowl. Finally, all these are served in a dish to taste (it is recommended to try this dish cold).
- Other ingredients regularly added to this dish are fried fish roes and Andean chulpe corn. You can add cheese and hot pepper (rocoto) as decoration.
Note: Baked Guinea pig is the soul of the dish followed by the torreja. The secret to enjoy it more is to try all the ingredients at the same time, in one big bite. All ingredients must be cold.
You can also read:
- June! Jubilee Month of Festivities in Cusco
- San Francisco of Asis in Cusco
- Cusco, one of 50 most beautiful cities in the world!
- How to acclimate to the altitude in Cusco
“I could spend my life arriving each evening in a new city.” – Bill Bryson