7 junio, 2024

The 12 Typical Dishes of Cajamarca Most Popular

Many of the typical dishes of Cajamarca, in Peru, are the heritage of the aboriginal groups that inhabited the area. With the passage of time, this cuisine was mixed with the European one, giving rise to the current Cajamarca gastronomy.

Cajamarca cuisine is one of the most outstanding examples of Peruvian Andean cuisine. In this, both ingredients from Peru and others that were introduced during the conquest and the Colony are used.

These include chili, corn or corn, yellow potato, guinea pig (a kind of rodent), pork, lamb and chicken. Green plantains and hearts of palm are used to a lesser extent.

Cajamarca sweets are also recognized. Most are prepared with milk, such as dulce de leche, manjar blanco, mazamorra de leche, among others.

Cajamarca dishes can be classified into four groups: appetizers, soups, main courses and desserts. Among the appetizers, the tamales and the humita stand out. The best known soups are lamb’s head and chochoca.

Par excellence, the main dishes are the fried guinea pig and the chicharrón with nickname. Lastly, the best-known desserts are manjar blanco and fig with honey.

Typical dishes of Cajamarca gastronomy

1- Corn humitas

The term humitas comes from Quechua humit’awhich means sweet corn dough wrapped in panca, or dry leaf of this vegetable. Humitas can be sweet or salty.

Sweet humitas are usually filled with cheese, raisins, and brown sugar molasses. For their part, the salty ones can be meat, vegetable, among other fillings.

The dough is prepared by grating the tender corn. To this butter is added and mixed until it has an easy-to-handle consistency. Some people add an egg to make the corn compact better.

The preparation is spread over the corn leaves, previously softened with boiling water, and the desired filling is added.

Once the corn husks are closed, they are cooked in boiling water. These buns are served as appetizers.

2- Tamales

Tamales are corn buns, similar to humitas. They are filled with meat or vegetable stews.

3- Chochoca soup with beef jerky

The main ingredient of chochoca soup is corn flour, which is made from cooked and dried corn kernels.

In addition to flour, this broth contains beef and vegetables such as celery and yellow potatoes.

In some areas of Cajamarca eggs and cheese are also added.

4- Green broth

Caldo verde is one of the best-known soups in Cajamarca. It is prepared with potatoes, eggs, cheese, mint, parsley, cilantro and paico (a typical herb from the area).

The secret of this dish is the aromatic herbs, which not only give it a good flavor but also give it the typical green color of the broth. It is usually accompanied by Andean corn.

5- Lamb head broth

The lamb is one of the most predominant animals in the Peruvian Altiplano. For this reason, its meat is highly prized and is used to prepare various dishes. One of the most relevant is the broth that is made with the head of lamb.

In the colder areas of Cajamarca, this soup is preferred to any other, since it provides a large amount of nutrients and allows energy lost due to temperature differences to be recovered.

In addition to lamb meat, this dish includes root vegetables (such as potatoes, cassava, and celery), onion, garlic, parsley, and coriander.

6- Chicharrón with nickname

Chicharrón is a dish that is prepared with fried pork skin. This skin is cooked to such an extent that it is very crunchy.

It is not necessary to add oil for its preparation, since the pork skin retains a large part of the animal’s fat and releases it while it is being cooked.

Unlike other Cajamarca dishes, chicharrón does not contain any seasonings, other than salt to taste. The dish is served with mote (ripe, boiled corn kernels) and mashed potatoes.

7- Fried guinea pig

The guinea pig is a small rodent typical of the Peruvian Andes. To prepare this dish, the guinea pigs are first cleaned and boiled in water seasoned with garlic, onions and salt.

While the meat is cooking, prepare a red chili sauce, garlic, parsley, pepper, other spices and salt to taste.

Remove the guinea pigs from the water and fry them in plenty of oil. When they are almost ready, add the sauce that was previously prepared.

This dish is served with potatoes and boiled eggs, olives and parsley as garnish.

8- Cheese with honey

The cheese with honey is prepared with milk, cream, cinnamon and cloves. When the mixture curdles, it is served and honey is added.

9- White delicacy

Manjar blanco is a typical dessert from Cajamarca that is made with cow’s milk, sugar, cinnamon and chuño (a dehydrated bitter potato).

The proportions in which the ingredients must be mixed are as follows: for each liter of milk, add a quarter of a kilo of sugar and a tablespoon of chuño. Cinnamon is added to taste.

This mixture is boiled until it begins to thicken. When it has acquired the desired consistency, it is left to rest. This dessert is served cold.

10- Preserved figs

The fig preserve is a very simple and popular dessert throughout the Cajamarca region.

To prepare it, the figs are taken and the upper part of the fruit is cut. They are left soaking in warm water for 15 minutes.

Later they are boiled with a mixture of honey reduced in water. When it is observed that the honey has recovered its consistency, it is removed from the heat and allowed to rest.

In some areas, honey is replaced by molasses made from sugar cane juice.

11- Parboiled

Also known as puchero cajamarquino, it is a very popular broth during the carnival season. The ingredients used for its preparation are potatoes, cabbage and meat (mutton, pork, beef). It is usually accompanied with cassava and sweet potato.

12- Milk nougat

This sweet has Spanish origin, being very popular in homes during Christmas. Each region makes it based on the raw material available, so in Cajamarca it is a tradition that they are prepared with wheat, barley, roasted corn and peanuts.

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