Pachamanca

A pachamanca is an Andean cooking style that comes from the Quechua for earth (pacha) pot (manca). It is a variety of food (potatoes, lima beans, tamale, chicken, pork, guinea pig and plenty of spices) cooked underground using hot stones. However it is more than a cooking technique, it is a celebration of Pacha Mama or mother Earth and the blessings she bestows on us.

A great time to have a Pachamanca is at the time of the potato harvest.

The varieties of potatoes the Andean farmers have at their disposal is vast.

The nutritional value of these potatoes is also great.

At the end of the harvest, the farmers dig a hole and build a fire to heat up volcanic rocks that are used to cook the Pachamanca. Into the hole goes the tamale wrapped in corn husks, the chicken and the pork.

Layers of meat, rocks, tamale, potatoes are then covered by herbs and a layer of lima beans that are ultimately covered by soil and laid to rest in the hot, steamy, smokey Andean soil.

To Kill the time while the Pachamanca does its work the farmers dance, sing and drink chicha jora (corn beer).

Once the Pachamanca has done its job the farmers enjoy their harvest.

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