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Number 3- October 2nd., 2009 A newsletter about Andean products



Amazon Wonder

Limo Chili:

Extremely Hot Recipe:

Tuna Tiradito with Cocona Glossary: Andean Products

FOOD IN TAHUANTINSUYO Incas had a balanced and appropriate diet that was according to the region they live in; this was because they had more than 50 nutrients among proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, minerals, vitamins and several types of organic activators. This variety was possible due to the bartering of products among different people of the Empire. Moreover, the movement of people from one region to another produced a complete and permanent exchange of products and recipes. During those times, it was usual to eat in the morning (paqarin llaqway) and in the afternoon (tuta mikhuy), there could be a snack at noon. Nobles ate in big ceremonies where food was abundant. Food was served to them by their wives and children, whose heads were lowered to show respect during meals. Nobles used pots made of silver or gold, which were used only once. For daily life ceramic or wooden pots were used. The working class or hatun runa ate on the floor bending their legs and pulling their clothing until it got tight in order to put their pots in this hollow. Women ate at the same time of their husbands, but not by their side, they sat behind them and served them when their husbands asked for.



INCA’S FLORA Incas reached a broad knowledge regarding flora. As a condiment and flavoring they used huacatay, paico, caigua, annatto, amancay, muña, hot pepper (rocoto), limo and yellow chili. The mostly consumed types of fruit were eggfruit, soursop, caimito, avocado, papaya, tumbo and pepino. Among the tubers we could mention potato, manioc, sweet potato, yacon, maca, mashua, achira, arracacha, oca and olluco. In the case of grains, there were quinoa, kiwicha and corn. For mixed vegetables the mostly preferred were parca, butter bean, bean and tarwi. It is important to mention that coca leaves were chewed during those tasks that demanded physical work. Among the types of meat that were eaten we can mention llama, alpaca, guinea pig, partridge and duck. They also hunted deers, tarucas, guanacos and vizcachas, whose meat was turned into charqui in order to transport it. In the Amazonia birds like¨pava de monte¨ and Peruvian duck or ñuñuma were raised, while turtle, sajino, ronsoco and tapir meats were eaten. On the Coast, the main source of meat was fish, although in the Northern part iguana and cañanes were also eaten. Even dogs were raised by Huancas in order to eat them. Among the mineral supplements they had salt and pasa or chacu (it was used to cover potatoes and meat as a kind of mustard).





Food Preservation


Regarding food preserving, the Incas knew different techniques. In the Highlands potatoes were dehydrated and changed into potato flour or tocosh and the oca into cawi. They even dehydrated eggfruit. On the coast potato was cut into small square pieces and put to dry. They also dried and salted make charqui, chalona or cecina. Using the same technique they salted fish, seashells and algae too, in order to transport them through long distances. Other technique to preserve food was refrigeration. In order to cook they used tullpa or stove, which consisted on a nsight deepnhole surrounded by stones that supported the pot. Clay burners were also used, they had a rim by which fire was poked. People ate mostly raw and cooked herbs (algae, chili, quinoa, corn, potato leaves), they ate potato soups cooked like chupis (or chupes) and stews called canchiyuyos. From dry potato, they prepared carapulcra (considered the oldest stew in Peru). From corn they prepared songo (mazamorra) and humitas, they also ate it boiled (mote) and toasted (cancha). Tarwi could also be eaten boiled or toasted. The most important drink was chicha or asua (prepared mainly from corn), because Incas did not drink water. That is why they had more instruments to prepare, store and drink it than for food itself. Chicha was usually served in glasses (queros) or in pots made of small pumpkins (potos).

Fish was eaten raw or marinated in sour juice of tumbo with chili and aromatic herbs, roasted, grilled or prepared in stews. Fish was cooked in fire or covered with aromatic herbs called kanka. If it was boiled in water with aromatic herbs it was known as challwachupe, and if it was prepared in a stew with potatoes, it was named lokro. Raw fish was also eaten, all cut in pieces and marinated with chicha. However, fish was usually eaten dry and salted with cancha. Anchovies were also eaten with cancha.





D r y

P o t a t o


considered the oldest stew in Peru





Amazon Wonder


It has been grown in Peru for such a long time that wild species are not known, however, its Amazon origin is recognized. Scientist Alexander Von Humboldt studied this fruit in 1800, and in the decade of 1940 it was gorwn in Costa Rica and Africa while in 1948 was grown in an agricultural research center in California and in 1944 in Puerto Rico.

Definition: Cocona plant (Solanum topira or Solanum sessiliflorum) belongs to the family of Solanaceae and it grows so fast that it can reach two meters. Its leaves are oval and dark green or purple according to its variety, its flowers are slightly yellow. It is from the same family of tomato, its fruit could be spherical or oval, round or long. The fruit pulp is delicious, fleshy, creamy white, of sharp flavor and pleasant smell. After being harvested, the fruit should be kept refrigerated to avoid its failure.

In Peru it is mainly grown in family orchards in JunĂ­n, Pucallpa, Pasco, Ayacucho, San MartĂ­n, Loreto and Huanuco. This fruit is also produced in Brazil, Bolivia, Ecuador, Colombia and Venezuela.

Name: In Peru it is known as cocona, in Brazil as cubiu and in Venezuela it is called topiro.

Varietes: According to research performed in Peru there are more than 25 varieties of cocona, from which 11 have been selected to be used commercially.

Cocona is grown in several types of soils (preferably clayey and rich in organic matter and with good drain) until 1 200 meters above the sea level. The small types tolerate hard soils and resist diseases better compared to big ones. The plants with small fruit produce around 87 and 119 fruits and the ones with bigger fruit around 24 and 39.


Nutritional Aspect: Chemical Composition.

Cocona is exceptionally rich in iron and vitamin B5. It also contains proteins, carbohydrates, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin A, B, B2, C, water and calories. Cocona is considered a highly dietary fruit, whose consumption in small amounts could start with oneyear-old children. Due to its low caloric content and high amount of fiber, cocona juice helps to control cholesterol, excess of uric acid and other diseases produced by the bad performance of kidneys and liver. In traditional medicine, cocona is used against diabetes, snake bite and hypertension. Vitamin B5 helps healthy skin and takes part in the growing and well functioning of nervous system, it protects digestive mucus and helps to control glucose level in blood and in the process of energy release of food. To take advantage of the iron in cocona it must be eaten with food rich in vitamin C.

Cocona is grown by peasants mainly for their consumption and a little for commercial purposes. Its sale is performed at small scale by its producers in fairs, marketplaces, etc. It is also consumed in cafeterias, restaurants and hotels in Amazon cities. The biggest demand is between May and December, during this time it could be bought in supermarkets and specialized stores or at homes by means of bartering. In Pucallpa there are small factories that produce cocona juice, due to its higher demand in this area. However, there are only small markets in the place, which turns it into a product with a high economic potential in this region. Cocona has got low demand in the national market, due to the lack of advertising and because it is known only by people who have lived in the Amazon area or in places where this fruit is produced. Nevertheless, Peruvian companies see a high potential in cocona, because it could be turned into a substitute within the market of juice and nectars. Its production is reduced due to the lack of raw material. Cocona juice is traditionally used to treat insect bites, spots due to impetigo and burns (applying it in the affected area) as well as to provide shine to hair.

Complementary Information: Cocona is considered the Amazon tomato and is eaten fresh and plain, as a piece of fruit. Its flavor is more acid than orange or lime, but after certain treatment it would offer a pleasant flavor. After adding salt and spices we could make sauces to accompany anticucho and fish soups (caldeirada), and with sugar we could make jellies and marmalades. It could be cooked in meat or fish stews. If cooked with chili is delicious and is used as a complement to traditional Peruvian food from the rain forest. It could also be eaten in salads and compotes. Its juice could be sold fresh or canned. Ice-cream, candies, syrups and pickles could also be produced from cocona.



cachito chili

cerezo chili

mochero chili

limo chili cerezo chili

cerezo chili

cachito chili 8

Extremely Hot!


In Peru five species of chili are known, but only two were domesticated in Peru and/or in neighboring countries, the others are domesticated independently in different places in Latin America. Chilies that are originally from Peru are yellow or panca chili and mukuru (endemic species from Peru grown in Ayacucho). The other three species have common ancestral genes but were domesticated in different places: pimenton chili or chile (Mexico), monkey chile or lemon chili (Central America) and limo chili or ceviche chili (Andes and Amazon).

Name: The name ¨ají¨ comes from Taino word ¨haxi¨, which was the name that Caribbean inhabitants used for it. The name ¨chile¨ that is used in Mexico comes from Nahuatl.


Limo chili is a variety of the species Capsicum chinense, which also includes chile habanero and sweet Venezuelan chili. Limo chili has a white greenish flower and could be distinguished from other species due to having from 3 to 5 flowers per knot. Its fruits are extremely hot and very tiny, they could have spherical or long shape and could be red, orange or brown when they reach ripeness. It is grown on the Coast, Highlands and Amazonia until 1500 meters above the sea level, in humid and hot areas. Carefully picking of the fruit is important because it is very delicate.

Nutritional Aspect: Chemical Composition. Limo chili contains proteins, fat, carbohydrates, fiber, calories, calcium, phosphorus, iron, potassium, magnesium, vitamin B1, vitamin B2 and vitamin B5. Besides, it also has a high level of vitamin A, more than any other edible plant and it is very rich in vitamin C, even more than citrus. Vitamin A helps sight and skin, the lack of it might cause night or permanent blindness. Vitamin C helps in the formation of collagen in teeth, bones and connective tissues of blood vessels. Limo chili is free of cholesterol and saturated fat. It is recommended for low sodium and high fiber diets. Eating chili increases metabolism. Chili could be used to treat patients with arthritis because the consumption of chili, as well as arthritis, activates a family of neurons that transmits the feeling of pain that could help understand the disease, which could lead to the creation of new types of treatments in the future. Likewise, the painful effect of chili is followed by a painkilling answer.

Complementary Information: Due to its spicy flavor limo chili is used as a condiment for several sauces and pickles as well as for the preparation of dishes such as fish or seashell ceviche, choritos a la chalaca, stews, tiraditos among others. Limo chili is one of the spiciest and, therefore, with a high content of capsaicine. Capsaicine strongly stimulates nerve endings, which exhausts its neurotransmitters, leaving them insensitive for some time, reducing pain as well as inflammation. This feature was known by ancient Peruvians who prepared dough and ointments that were applied for analgesic purposes, especially for joint complaints. Likewise, capsaicine stimulates intestinal secretion. Nowadays, folk healers in Andean countries use chili to relieve several sicknesses. It is used to treat rheumatic and muscular pains as well as ear, tooth and headaches. Chili is as well used as stimulant of the digestive system and to heal insect bites among other things.




where the limo chili is used as a condiment

TIRADITO CEVICHE Tiradito is a variant of Peruvian ceviche. The difference between them is that ceviche has 5 ingredients (fish, lime, salt, onion and chili) and tiradito just uses 4, it does not include onion and the fish cut is thinner (3mm). Instead of onion, that provides ceviche a great flavor, tiradito takes ingredients that aromatize and give it flavor such as ginger, garlic, chili sauce, etc. A lot of people wonder why ceviche-tiradito have such a great flavor only with five ingredients. The key of Peruvian ceviche is choosing a type of fish that could denature its proteins when in contact with two key ingredients: lime and salt. The denatured protein of fish gets into the marinated juice and fills it with denatured protein flavor (known as umami). The rule to obtain the fish protein in the juice of the marinade could be reached in two ways: • By using refined salt and lime juice, in the latter we must put special attention because it could not be obtained from limes low in acidity or limes that develop sugar due to their ripening process. Lime must be green to be used. • By using only fish that could denature its protein when in contact with salt and lime. This would be very important because not only f ine and expensive fish could produce this effect. It is advisable to look into local fishes and use them to prepare tiradito or ceviche, and observe how meat reacts. The following recipe shows that the effect of ceviche could be reached not only with white fish and lime juice but also with blue fish and the sour fruit juice that is not necessarily citrus.


Tuna Tiradito with Cocona 4 servings Marinade 8 unit cocona 1/2 tsp garlic Salt White pepper 1/2 tsp ginger juice 3 tbs chopped red onion 2 unit limo chili

Tuna 600 gr yellow fish tuna fillet

Side Dish 1 tsp chopped coriander 1 tsp chopped limo chili 1 unit fuerte avocado 200 gr laminated manioc 1 lt vegetable oil

Corionder Oil 70 gr blanched coriander 150 ml vegetable oil Spread limo chili and coriander. Open coconas, remove seeds and juice then sieve. Peel garlic and crush it to form a paste (this preparation lasts only for an hour). To obtain ginger juice, grate ginger and then squeeze it to obtain its juice. Chop the onion without using its center, wash it and use it immediately. Wash and dry the chili. Put it on a chopping board and crush with the knife blade. Mix the ingredients for the marinade. Laminate the tuna and put on the base of the dish. Dip the tuna in the marinade. Fry the manioc sheets in low-medium hot oil. Put the avocado in pieces in the center of the plate with manioc chips. Spread limo chili and coriander. For coriander oil, blanch the coriander, blend with oil and let it rest in the refrigerator for 24 hours and finally serve it through the vegetable mill. Garnish with coriander oil around it.



Ginger: Called kion in Peru, it is very hot and binding.

Yellow Fish Tuna: compact meat species of pale reddish color with a very soft texture and well balanced flavor.

Manioc: root of flesh similar to potato, the type used in this recipe is the yellow one due to its low content of water. This characteristic helps the chip to be crunchier and less oily.


Collaborator and investigator: Chef Flavio Solórzano Álvarez Executive chef of the El Senorio de Sulco restaurant, specialist in Peruvian Cuisine, Pastry and Artisan Ice-Cream Shop. Proposes the preservation and value of Peruvian regional cuisine, respecting local flavors essence and innovating accurately with them.

This newsletter has been edited by Andean Consumer Services (*) with the purpose of promoting to all KFI culinary members Andean ingredients, foreseen as food & flavor trends, and Andean region cuisine, especially Peruvian gastronomy, declared the next global ethnic cuisine trend.

If you have any comment, doubt or question, please don’t hesitate to contact Vanessa Fernandini, Andean Consumer Services Manager, to e-mail or phone No. (511) 315/300 (ext. 3034). (*) Andean Consumer Services is conformed by the following countries: Colombia, Ecuador, Peru & Venezuela. for each country information you can contact: Ecuador & Colombia Maria Gabriela Ponce, Consumer Services Coordinator Telephone No. (593-2) 299-8231 Peru Andrea Arllentar, Consumer Services Analyst Telephone No. (511) 315-3000 (ext. 3040) Venezuela Eugenia Santander, Consumer Services Coordinator Telephone No. (58-212) 600-9188

kraft peru  
kraft peru  

peruvian andean by erick piskulich