Customs, Food Culture

A Variety of Bread Bakes Daily in Cuzco’s Ovens

Bread in Cuzco is Really Good, Especially by Mornings (Photo: Walter Coraza Morveli)

Every morning the bread makers of Cuzco heat up their ovens. Once hot they bake in them the fresh bread that will soon be on the city’s streets to please Cuzqueños and tourists at breakfast and other meals. The bakeries are generally microenterprises and together they provide a whole variety of breads for the city. But the bakers can never finish dreaming, since they have to arise before dawn, every day, to provide bread for the city.

Our bread comes in different styles, tastes, and sizes. For example, there is the pan especial, el pan cachitos, el pan yema, el pan rejas, el pan huaro, el pan oropesa, el pan trigo, and others. Nevertheless, the most commercialized are the pan huaro and pan oropesa. These are the breads you can always find which day alter day please everyone.

Besides these breads, there are others that are larger and that require a different recipe or means of preparation that the others. These last include the pan chuta and the pan jurka.

The pan chuta is a large round bread. It has a delicious taste that delights the palates of Cuzqueños with its slight sweetness and taste of aromatic herbs, including a hint of eucalyptus and of anise. Many tourists also get the pleasure of trying this bread when they come to our city.

Besides being bought for immediate consumption, the pan chuta is also bought to give as a gift. When ever someone goes to visit family and friends in other places they take the pan chuta and some blocks of cheese with them.

Taking Chuta Bread as A Gift to the Pachamama (Photo: Walter Coraza morveli)
Taking Chuta Bread as A Gift to the Pachamama (Photo: Walter Coraza morveli)

The pan jurka is different from all others. It is only used in special moments to delight with its unique flavor and form. Whenever a person has a special responsibility to sponsor a feast, for example, then they have to organize their cargo, their charge, as it is called. Toe get people to come together to help them they take with them some jurka bread to jurkar, elect their friends and family to help them with several cases of beer of more.

The ideal place to see the breads of Cuzco and its ovens is in Oropesa. This is a small but welcoming town where from your arrival you smeel the aroma of freshly baked bread. The majority of its citizens are dedicated to bread making. As a result once a year they celebrate their feast of Tanta Raymi in which they give an award to the best oven (bakery) of the year.

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