jueves, 20 de noviembre de 2014

In the land of Pisco... Pisco and Cuisine "Arroz Tapado"

A little bit of history...
Chinese migration to Peru and the arrival of rice

The arrival of rice to Peru begins with contemporary history and the voluminous Chinese immigration, which began in 1849. The massive arrival of 90,000 Chinese immigrants until the year 1874 resulted in the concentration of a huge labor force. A large part of this work force was destined to work in the costal haciendas, where the immigrants were forced to work for 8 years. The Chinese also worked as servants in cities, especially in Lima, in the guano islands, and also in railroad construction.

On one hand, the Chinese needed rice for their daily diet, as well as a form of payment. The landowners were obligated to supply a daily, fixed amount of rice as part of payment for the work the Chinese did in their agricultural properties. Therefore, part of the obligations of the landowners was to make sure they had enough rice (and in large quantities) stocked. Obviously this daily requirement was something new for Peru, and the country began to commercialize this product, as well as the surge of commercial rice-importing houses. Before this point in time, Peru did not produce this grain.

Beginning in the 19th Century, the price of rice increased due to the demand to provide the grain as a daily food source for the Chinese. Therefore, the landowners were forced to plant rice in order to avoid conflicts with their workers.

“[…] Starting in the second half of the 19th Century, a new phrase began to resonate, in our country, preceding the rewarding act of eating: “Sec Fan,” which, due to its complex pronunciation would soon divert into Shic Fan, later Chi Fan, and later became and propagated as Chi Fa, which literally translates to “Come and eat rice!” As the years passed, some immigrants abandoned their agricultural work in order to move to some coastal cities. There they opened small--but innumerable--restaurants that little by little aroused the curiosity of the locals. In this type of restaurant, which later was called Chi Fa, a new type of cooking, and therefore, eating, was popularized […]” (http://www.generacion.com)

From the previous paragraphs, we can infer that rice began to expand and appear in restaurants dedicated to the preparation of meals with rice, which today is a side dish that is almost always served with Peruvian food. Therefore, it is a product of high national demand, whose production has increased over the years. However, this has occurred to the detriment of native Peruvian products such as the oca, mashua and kiwicha.

In conclusion, since rice first came to Peru, Peruvian cuisine has changed, creating meals that combine well with rice, since rice is today the principal ingredient of many Peruvian dishes and desserts.

(i) Cfr. Olivas 1996: 191 – 192
(ii) Cfr. Olivas 1996: 192
(iii) Cfr. Olivas 1996: 192 - 194

OLIVAS, Rosario (1996) Cultura, Identidad y cocina en el Perú. Lima: Universidad de San Martin de Porres.

Generación (2010) (http://www.generaccion.com/secciones/gastronomia/articulos/?codarticulorevista=132) Website which contains information about “Chifa” restaurants in Peru. (Visited June 31, 2010)


“Arroz Tapado”
3 cups of cooked rice
½ kilo  of finely chopped beef
1 finely chopped onion
1 garlic clove, finely minced
1 teaspoon paprika or cayenne pepper
2 hardboiled eggs, chopped
50 grams of raisins
6 olives, chopped
1 tomato, peeled and chopped
1 teaspoon of pepper
2 teaspoons of chopped parsley
Salt, to taste
Quebranta Pisco, for flavor


Since the rice is already cooked, we will make the filling first. Heat oil in a frying pan, add the beef until it is browned, add the onion, garlic, the paprika or cayenne pepper, flambé with Pisco for added flavor. Add the tomato, and salt and pepper to taste. Once everything is cooked, remove from heat and add the raisins, the chopped hardboiled egg and olives. Stir well in order to mix with the sauce for the filling.

Serve in individual molds. Before filling, line the mold with a little oil or water in order to easily remove the rice mixture. First fill with a layer of rice by pressing it into the mold. Then add the filling. Add another layer of rice (press it firmly in order to prevent it from falling apart). Place the mold on a plate, and remove. Decorate with chopped parsley.

Chef de Cuisine Johan Knell Lavaggi
Translated by Katrina Heimark
Pisco bilingual magazine

jueves, 13 de noviembre de 2014

In the land of Pisco... Vine Zone

Don’t miss this exclusive interview in “Vine Zone.” This month we have interviewed Mr. Alan Watkin, President of APPUNASCA (Pisco and Grape Producers of Nazca Association), an association beginning a viticulture project jointly with Citevid.

1. Good Morning, Mr. Watkin. We would like to know where exactly the association that you direct is located, and how long have you all been working on this viticulture project?

It is located in the province of Nazca, which includes the valleys of Pajonal, Taruga, Las Trancas, Ocongalla, Pirca and the sector of Molino Trigal, in the department of Ica. Work began on the project  in November 2003.

2. As of today, how many associates do you have?

As of today we have eleven associates, of which ten are classified for the project.

3. Talk to us a little about the project. What grape varieties are you going to plant, or are already planted. How many hectares do you have?

The project has 119 hectares, distributed throughout the valleys I mentioned earlier, in parcels ranging from 7 hectares to 15 hectares maximum. We are going to plant the following varieties: quebranta, torontel and muscatel. The entire project is new; in other words, there will be new plants grafted onto stock from imported plants from the Mercier nursery in France. This will take place with Citevid as our facilitator of this Pisco grape production chain that is the first of its kind in Peru. COFIDE as a financial institution approved the project for an approximate amount of 3,000,000. US dollars, which will be invested in: vine arbor infrastructure, irrigation systems, civil works, agricultural supplies, saplings, wages. In other words, this amount will cover 100% of the crops and we’ll have a “returning” amount per season. Citevid will install an office in Nazca in order to direct the project, with technitions trained in viticulture and administrative personnel who will remain working on the project while it is running, which is estimated to be approximately 8 years.

4. Based on what you wrote to us by email, it sounds like the project is thinking about things other than planting—such as the construction of a corporate bodega. Could you tell us more?

It’s true, the original project focused on the production of Pisco, but as a productive chain we had to have an existing buyer. That is the reason that the idea of dividing the project into two periods: the first grape-producing with the sale of fresh grapes to bodegas, and the second, the construction of a corporate bodega with corporate brands. This would begin to be worked on once we begin to harvest and the project begins to produce its first income.

5. Wonderful. Is there anything else the you would like to add?

I would like to thank you for your kind invitation to participate in this interview, and tke advantage of the occasion to thank Citevid, especially their director Mr. Manuel Moron and the president of the directorate, Mr. Pedro Olaechea, our manager Mr. Enrique Suarez, Cofide for believing in our project, Mr. Atilio Munoz, representative and promoter of productive chains in the Ica region. Finally, I would like to invite you all to our province the first week of September to participate in our V Provincial Pisco Competition, so you can taste our product.

Alan Watkin
President of APPUNASCA

Translated by Katrina Heimark

lunes, 3 de noviembre de 2014

In the land of Pisco... Pisco / Peru: The country you have never visited

Jauja, variation of the Quechua word “Huaca” which means…

Province of Jauja
Jauja, variation of the Quechua word Huaca which means peaceful, placid, quiet place. In the pre-Inca period it was the seat of the Xauxa-Huanca confederation and was the administrative capital of the city of Tunanmarca. In the Tahuantinsuyo period it stretched from Hatun Xauxa and part of Hurin Huanca, and in the period of the Conquest it was founded by Francisco Pizarro as the Capital of the New Castille on April 25, 1534. It was a settlement for Spaniards during the colonial period, and thanks to its location as a mythic place of riches, it was called the “Country of Jauja.”

Jauja is a typical colonial city with two storey buildings, wide doors, windows and balconies made of wood, and peaked-tiled roofs. The city is characterized by its religious festivals, colorful dances, beautiful natural landscapes, and by its excellent climate. In the 18th Century it was recommended to visit the city to cure oneself of respiratory problems; important people from international society and from distant places went to Jauja to be cured, which caused the construction of the Olavegoya hospital. A novel about these events, titled “The city of the Tisicos” was written by Abraham Valdelomar. The principal plaza of Jauja has a central fountain constructed of molded metal, with beautiful gardens surrounding it, two squares to the sides and under which public restrooms have been installed. In the front part of the plaza there is a monument to Don Andrés Avelino Cáceres, a bust in honor of Francisco Bolognesi, and a small statue that represents a farmwoman and her child.

In the surrounding area there is the Matriz Church, the Provincial Municipality, the INC, banks, colonial style houses, commercial establishments, and other buildings. The 1st Sunday of October is the celebration of the Patron Festival in honor of the Virgin de Rosario and Mamallanchic Chapetona.

Matriz Church of Jauja 
When he founded the city of Jauja on April 25, 1534, Pizarro assigned a place for the construction of a future church; which is today located in front of the principal plaza of the city. Its construction is monumental, with roman traits. Its main altar is beautifully and over-elaborately styled and dedicated to the Virgin de Rosario. The church also has a pulpit made of wood and side altars of different styles. The dome of the church is decorated with paintings on china. 

The towers were built in different eras, and in regards to the bells, the biggest is said to have been made in the Ocopa Convent with golden jewels of the highborn women of Jauja. Its pealing can be heard up to five leagues away. In the church there are also old Italian-made pipe organs. The celebration of the Patron Festival is the first Sunday of October. The church was remodeled in 1935, with a dome added to the nave and the side wings. The presbytery has three beautiful paintings from the 18th Century. 
Poor Christ Chapel “Capilla de Cristo Pobre”

The Capilla de Cristo Pobre was ordered to be built by the French priest Luis Grandin sometime between the years 1920 and 1928, and was the first chapel built with noble material in the city of Jauja. Its exterior is a smaller scale replica of the famous gothic style cathedral: the Notre Dame of Paris. One can observe just one nave, the altar, the pulpit and the confessional are all made of artistically carved wood. The church is decorated with paintings brought from France that represent the Stations of the Cross. The altar is dedicated to the Virgin of the Miracles. It has two towers and each one of them has six points; together they represent the 12 apostles. At the center of the church there is a statue of Jesus. 
Private Museum: El Caminante

The Private Museum El Caminante belongs to Professor Enoch Loayza Espejo, member of the Julio Espejo Núñez Cultural Circle. Inside the museum there are various exhibits of plant and animal fossils, above all marine species that are native from this valley, such as trilobites, gastropods, amontes and a fossilized fish and a quinual. There are also ancient and valuable ceramic pieces such as pitchers, vases, mortar and pestles, and a figure which some studies indicate is the predecessor of the Huacon. The museum has been open for about 10 years, and is permanently attended to by the owner. 

Virgen del Rosario 
A statue made of concrete between the years 1991 and 1992, it represents the Virgen del Rosario, the patron saint of Jauja. It is at the entrance of Xauxa as you face the valley. It is 6 meters tall, approximately. The statue is placed on a circular pedestal, which one can climb to via concrete stairs. There are concrete benches in a semi-circular form. The district of Sausa or Xauxa, where the monument is located, is very important in the history of the Mantaro Valley. That is where the Xauxa archeological site is found, and important cultural point for the valley and was an Incan Administrative Center. The Xauxa Church has not been modified and maintains it original construction of adobe. It also has paintings in the interior that belonged to the Cuzqueña school of art. 

Laguna de Paca
The Laguna de Paca (Paca Lagoon) is located in the natural Quechua region, and is about 6km2. It is flanked by the Eastern Cordillera, which when seen from the other side of the lagoon seems to be the figure of a man lying down. The locals call it the “Sleeping Indian.” 
Inside the lagoon there are floating reed islands, the biggest of which is called the “island of love.” The lagoon’s chrystal clear waters have a temperature of 12°C and the lagoon is some 22 meters deep. It is surrounded by the districts of Paca, Pancán and Chunán. 

Among the plant species there are eucalyptus trees, willows and cypress trees. As for natural vegetation there is the reed used to make the floating islands, grasses and one can observe the raising of sheep and cattle. The species that represent the local fauna are gulls, kingfisher, gadwall ducks, herons, paca (a small black bird that hides in the reeds), huachuas and others. The principal economic activities that take place around the lake are agricultural activities as well as touristic services, such as restaurants, hostels, and boat rides. 

Tunanmarca or Siquillapucara Archeological Site 
Tunanmarca means “town on top of the mountain” and comes from two quechua words: Tunan = top of the mountain and Marca = town. It is also known as Siquillapucara, which means the Siquilla Fortress. 

Sometime between the years 600-1000 AD the Wari invaded the aerea followed by the Yaru in the year 1100. Due to this, the Wanka--Xauxas became organized militarily and built houses on the tops of the mountains. Between 1000 and 1500 AD they were besieged by the Incas and succumbed to their power. 

The remains are protected by three walls. They are 2000 meters long and approximately 400 meters wide. More than 3000 houses made of stone and mud have been counted, the majority of them in a circular form. They are on average, 3 meters wide and 2 meters tall, which implies some 12,000 to 15,000 inhabitants. It was not a place of permanent residency. There are four types of buildings: common, religious, military and nobility. There are avenues that enter from the West and the East to the principal plaza which is surrounded by walls. The streets are small hallways that if one were to follow them, one would get lost, or in some cases be led to a dead end. 

Thermal Baths of Acaya 
Acaya, a Quechua word that means “Metal Glass” is a small human settlement located in the Quechua region (bordering Suni) where there is a warm-water spring that is contiguous to the Mantaro River. The spring contains sulfur, chlorine, carbonate and other minerals. The water has a temperature of 34°C.

The thermal baths consist of two installations; one of them in the open air (12 meters long by 5 meters wide), which is the place where the water rises from the ground. It is conditioned to be like a pool, but is currently not maintained. 

Some 200 meters away there is a second construction that has two closed and roofed rooms. Inside there are two private pools (one in each room) and each room is about 3.5m by 3.5m. The waters are brought in channels to these pools. 

Translated by Katrina Heimark

Pisco bilingual magazine