Customs, Traditional Food

Bread Babies and Horses Ride into Cuzco

A Bread Horse Racing

From the middle of October until the end of November in Cuzco bread babies and bread horses appear for sale.   The rest of the year they are not available, they only ride into town during this two month season.

This delicious bread is very well known in Cuzco and has great demand especially on November 1st and 2nd, the day in which we celebrate the feast of Todos Santos (All Saints) and the Day of the Dead.    Our custom is to acquire them and consume them in the principle plazas of Cuzco.  Bakers come from all over Cuzco to show their work there and offer it to the public.    An entire competition is organized to see who can make the largest and best designed bread baby and bread horse, called pan wawa or pan caballo locally.  Sometimes people use the Quechua t’anta wawa.  The results are displayed for the public to appreciate.

This delicious bread is made by hand in small bakeries which is the basis of its exquisite flavor.  It is authentically Cusqueño.  There is no other bread that equals it given its taste or has such a well designed form.  But the best part is that there is a bread for each gender.  The wawa, which means baby, and it is in the form of a wrapped up baby, is directed toward girls while the bread in the shape of a horse goes to boys.

Bread Baby Resting
Bread Baby Resting

But the marvelous flavor of the bread is carried in a gentleness that only a child can describe since this bread raises a “vibe”, an energy, in kids when the see it for the first time in a year.   It almost seems as it the bread baby were alive and you can’t eat it immediately.  The beauty and warmth of the baby draws your attention and so you feel almost worried to eat it yet.

But inevitably the flavor of the bread will tempt you.  Its amazing scent will envelope you  and will say “eat me”.  It is worth it to heed its command since its flavor will embrace you, especially if you are a kid.  After all, they like sweet things.

Selling a Bread Horse
Selling a Bread Horse
Bread Babies and Horses for Sale in Cuzco
Bread Babies and Horses for Sale in Cuzco

The largest bread baby in Peru appeared on November 1, made by 70 bakers in Cuzco’s suburban district of Wanchaq.  It was 12 meters long and four wide.

It was baked made in the plaza Túpac Amaru during the Eighth Bread Baby Festival (Octava Festival de Pan Wawas) carried out each uyear by the Association of Bakers (Asociación de Panificadores) of Cuzco.   For next year they plan to make an even bigger one, and hope to make it into the Guinness Book of World Records.

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