Andean cuisine is known for its hearty, filling dishes that feature corn and potatoes as some of its key ingredients. Not only does this make it ideal for winter, but it is also a way of getting to know the local South American indigenous cultures, and preserving them. Below, our pick of five Andean foods to try this winter.
Humita: This pre-hispanic dish features corn as its main ingredient, and, depending on where it is prepared, it may include cheese, spices, or other ingredients. The corn preparation is wrapped in a corn husk and boiled, then served, piping hot. In Argentina, humita also refers to a type of corn empanada filling that usually comes with bechamel sauce.
Charqui: This dried and salted meat, originally llama, and more commonly nowadays beef, was one of the ingredients of Inca cuisine.
Ajiaco: Again, depending on the region, this hearty dish has many variations. In Cuba, it is traditionally prepared with hot pepper and a variety of meat cuts and tubers. In Colombia, it is prepared with chicken, different potato varieties and local herbs. In Perú, ajiaco y quite different and is a preparation of different potato varieties, with garlic, panko and mirasol chillies, amongst other herbs.
Locro: Another hearty stew, this dish is prepared with corn, beans, potato, pumpkin and meat cuts. It is popular throughout the whole Andean region, specially in winter and in Argentina, it is always prepared for festivities associated to national holidays.
Llauja: This hot and spicy salsa, typical from Bolivia, is the ideal complement to raise the temperature in cold winter days. It’s made with tomato, a local spicy pepper called locoto and sometimes garlic, cilantro and/or other herbs.
To get a taste of these special Andean dishes, stop by UCO to try our special July 4-step tasting menu that features these typical local foods.