A Puchero from Cusco
“Carnival is arriving,” chants the famous song. This feast before Lent pulls the Andes, rural and urban, into celebration with noise, movement, risk, danger, and fun. It is the height of the rainy season when water falls abundantly from the sky. In the cities people toss water balloons and buckets of water at each other, although it is generally marauding bands of young people divided by sex who make sure to wet the opposite sex.
The people in the city eat a special food for Carnival called puchero, a dish of abundant boiled food. This is a complete meal cooked in water and it is a dish found throughout the Peruvian, South Andean cities, a very Creole food there despite the Quechua associations. The dishes vary somewhat yet are also almost the same.
In what follows I will give you recipes for Puchero in a selection of cities including Cusco that cover the South, now divided into two countries, Peru and Bolivia.