Many things as important in Cuzco, but among them, bread may well be the most important. The people of Cuzco eat a lot of bread. Every day, the city’s ovens produce innumerable rolls—which are how Peruvians prefer to receive their bread, and in the course of the day they sell out. They make a wide variety of diverse rolls, but the most common are pan huaro, pan oropesa, and specialty breads—panes especiales.
“It sold like hot bread”—“se vendió como pan caliente”—is a phrase used by people throughout the city and our merchants. It shows the importance of bread and how bread will sell out quickly. The phrase means, “It sold fast”.
Not only does bread disappear from the shelves almost in an eye blink, it comes in different varieties and they distinguish different people and different acts. Some just mark matters of personal taste but other mark ritual events. Nevertheless, bread is always present as a companion to our traditional dishes.
The jurqa bread is a round, double-decker loaf that is for the chosen. It is given to those who are asked to take on the responsibility of carrying out the different feasts that course through Cuzco every year. In contrast, Huaro bread and Oropesa bread are indispensible as accompaniments to soups and to the roast pork we consume during many feasts. Of course they are also found on almost every breakfast table.
Every morning carts and baskets loaded with bread make their way from bakeries to stores in our city. Warm bread is available first thing in the morning for everyone’s pleasure. Not only can you eat it for breakfast, it is also there for you to make a sandwich for your lonche, late afternoon snack, or to accompany your main meal of the day.
Lately, our TVs have sounded with advertising for anew bread. Advertisements for it also color our magazines and papers. It is called panqui and is produced by the ALICORP Company. It is distributed to our stores and supermarkets.
They tell us this bread has important nutrients, because it is made from quinoa flour along with wheat flour. On the outside it is an attractive, large roll, and calls attention to its self. Inside it is fluffy and easy to eat. It is a nutty brown color and has toasted quinoa seeds as if it were a face with freckles.
This bread is not all that expensive and can fit into the family economy, although it is more expensive than the normal breads of our local economy, our traditional breads that now face stiff competition from large industrial bakers. The panqui cost about 1.60 /S for 3 panqui rolls.
Panqui now forms one of the large variety of breads that people can choose and take home, and create even more variety of meaning in bread. It is expected this bread will capture a good share of the market, given the power of the market; its flavor and meaning will captivate consumers.