Oats are more than simply something that comes in a package or from which beer is made. In Cuzco they please our palates with wonderful flavor in drinks, breakfasts, and lunches.
More people in the highlands and rural communities eat this grain in its original form, than in the city of Cuzco. Nevertheless, the most well known lunch that is made on the basis of this grain is chaquepa. It is a delicious dish that includes not just oats, but also potatoes, carrots, broad beans, and others ingredients.
It used to be that this meal was never absent from the tables of the people of Cuzco. Mothers of families would prepare it regularly. Not only did they consider that it had lots of nutrients, they would make it because this cereal was always available from the chacras, the fields, theirs and from other peoples.
People use oat flour for their breakfasts. This super food gives you lots of energy so that you can accomplish all of your activities during the day. It is very nourishing. After enjoying it you feel satisfied and you do not get hunger until lunchtime.
Oat tea is a refreshing drink that you can drink room temperature or hot. You can also enjoy it whenever you want. It is very good, they say, for kidney aches and, at the same time dis-enflames. It also clears skin spots from your face. For any of these you should make the tea from oats that have been toasted to a medium condition and drink it without any sugar.
Oats can also be a coffee substitute. For this you toast the grains until they are light black. Then you combine them with sugar to make a coffee-like beverage that is very refreshing. In Cuzco we consider it fresh.
The grain is also used in one of the most popular beverages of our city, our amazing beer. We drink it in fiestas and celebrations. Every time a feast or fiesta is organized, people first share glasses of beer. Then though out the whole night, among laughter and dancing, they drink bottle after bottle.
When oats are harvested from the very large fields both within the city’s boundaries and outside it, the first thing people do is toast it. Then they take it to be ground. It can be ground to different degrees of fineness, from a soft meal to a rough cut from which you make the delicious chaquepa.
Unfortunately, this nutritious food is not consumed much by the urban people of Cuzco, outside of beer. But Cuzco’s rural peoples love it still.
Nevertheless, barley is still sold in the markets and some sites of the city. You can buy it from a price of 1/S in order to enjoy it in any of its preparations.