¿What’s Chicha?

CHICHA, originally the sacred, lightly alcoholic beverage of choice during the Tawantinsuyo, became a font and art style used to promote popular Cumbia and Huayno artists to the masses. It is now the flag word for the vibrantly disarrayed culture the majority of Limeños find themselves in. Arguing with a bus operator when he passes your stop, or doubting the innocuity of a hamburger vendor on a street corner yet having no choice but to quell the grotesque (yet undeniable) need for her array of lipid suffused, mayonnaise based sauces. Sure to saturated even the most polished of fast food gourmands.

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Disclaimer* I do not own rights to this picture *

   Chicha is when the younger generations listen to their grandparents’ music, and although repulsed, at times they can’t help but feel connected to their hearth and people. When the music of the streets reflects the lives of the artists who interpret it. Be it the blind mother of 4, whose right leg has only enough strength to hold her while she leans on her speaker and microphone arrangement. The melancholic tones and cries that pierce your ears more than your heart, expose her ever more failing qualities. Or the lankly, cáfe au lait toned, adolescent boy, in a tattered shirt and sweatpants, sporting a new pair of bootleg Puma velcros, who uses the Cajón to express the Afro-Peruvian rhythms of the slave descendants who once made up 60% of Lima’s population.

   Now, Chicha isn’t for the weak hearted, or those who honestly wash their hands after each and every bathroom break. Chicha is for those who have knowledge that Ceviche probably shouldn’t be left out all day, in the middle of summer. Nevertheless you invoke your lime dogma, investing your faith in the acidic and bacteria fighting powers of this fruit, thought to be the solidified tear of a Hindu goddess. As you place the tantric flavored marine delicacy between your teeth, you find Zen in the nearly butter-like quality of the fish. Just don’t get unhinged by eating cart served ceviche past 5 p.m., that’s just asking for a bad time.

   My name is Jason, I’m a young, culinary arts student with dreams to pursue and cities to conquer. I currently reside in Lima, Peru. This blog will consist of my culinary adventures, just as one would presume a food blog would consist of. But I’m also on an adventure, to discover the occult, and indiscernible treasures of this mysterious country that I found myself in. From the hole in the wall where you can pay S/.15 (about $6-$7) for a heavy plate of Lomo Saltado with Tacu Tacu that’s so jammed the juices of your Lomo begin to drip from the side of your plate, forcing you to mix it with your absorbent accompaniment.  To the different, unexplored uses of aguaymanto as a berry and a tomato. I want to find out which kind of potato really does make the best french fry, and which one I should just stick to baking whole. I want the smells of huacatay and spearmint to confuse and tantalize my sense of smell to have it feel as if it were if the mountains of Huancayo, waiting for the Pachamanca to served.  This is I, this is my food, this is CHICHA

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