Peruvian Connection Markets of Peru Newsletter
days were first established under the rule of the Inca Pachakuti in the
15th century. There were 3 official market days, called catus, held
each month. At these catus, citizens of the Inca Empire heard official
decrees and exchanged their surplus goods.
Spaniards arrived, the local market days were changed to Sunday, in hopes
of luring the Indians to the Catholic mass. To this day many Andean markets
take place on Sunday. Native Quechua Indians still call markets catus
and women market vendors are called cateras.
to the local market days, there are permanent marketplaces called mercados.
Here the locals eat, drink, barter, buy, sell, socialize and feud, in
an environment very like a supermarket and department store rolled into
one. Mercado stalls sell everything from magical herbs to flowers,
from dye stuffs to coca leaves, from fruit and vegetables to pots and
markets feature Native crafts that are typically unique to the region.
The market at Pisaq, near Cuzco, is renowned for its array of handicrafts
on the market days of Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.
In Inca society,
corn was mostly grown for beer making and for holiday and ritual use.
The first corn planting took place in August and September and was performed
by the Inca emperor himself. Corn was considered a high status crop, while
potatoes were the staple food.
|Corn on the
cob is called choclo. Andean corn has much larger kernels than U.S.
corn, and the ears are juicy and sweet. First domesticated in Mexico, its
cultivation spread to the Andes where it thrived. Corn was the third most
important crop in the Inca world-potatoes and quinua were better
adapted to higher altitudes-but at least 20 varieties of corn are grown
today in Peru.
corn beer known as chicha has been enjoyed in Peru since the time
of the Incas. Chicha is usually made from sprouted corn, but is
sometimes made from quinua, grapes, bananas or other fruits. The
Indians spill a little chicha on the ground as an offering to Pacha
Mama (Mother Earth) before drinking. Chicha morada is a
non-alcoholic version of the drink made from purple corn.
from The Art of Peruvian Cuisine by Tony Custer.
From José Antonio's, one of the most well-loved traditional restaurants
6 ears corn
on the cob (unhusked)
1 T. sugar
10 T. butter
1 ½ tsp. salt
3 level tsp. freshly ground pepper
juice of 5 key limes
of corn without removing husks or silk into a large pot of cold water
with the sugar and juice of 2 key limes. Bring to a boil and cook until
the husk is soft and the kernels tender-about 10 minutes after the water
has come to a rolling boil.
To make the
In a small heavy pan over low heat melt the butter, taking care that it
doesn't burn. Add salt, pepper and remaining lime juice and stir well.
ears of corn and remove husks and silk.
bathed in the warm butter sauce. May also be eaten with a spoon: shell
the kernels from the cob after cooking and mix with the sauce.