Culture, Food Culture

Cold Season and the Arrival of Chuño and Moraya

Chuno (Freeze dried potatoes - around 3cm wide)

The economic system of the Incas was based mainly on agriculture, especially the sowing and harvesting of corn and potatoes. They knew how to use climate variations throughout the year to develop ways and techniques in order to retain their products for longer, to use them either in shortage or war.

They managed to dehydrate potatoes in the months of frost during the frigid winter and thus they obtained new products with high protein content and especially of a long duration. This process was carried out for many generations and to this day it continues.

We are talking about chuño and moraya, products derived from potatoes. Then, with the beginning of the cold season in the Andes of Peru and the production of chuño and moraya begins a new season of products in the Andean markets of Peru.

In addition, chuño and moraya are products that form a large part of the food in Andean villages. Also, in these same towns all the activities that these products imply are carried out. From sowing, harvest and finally, the transformation of the potato into its various varieties to chuño and moraya.

This activity is carried out at altitudes above 3700 meters on the frozen pampas. There, the sun, the cold, and water have to intervene to achieve these traditional products.

Many traditional dishes can be prepared with the aforementioned products, including lawa (creme soup) of chuño or moraya, chairo, an accompaniment of roast pork, timpu or puchero, etc.

So, chuño and moraya are part of Andean culture. Their production is one of the ancient activities that are still being carried out. Hopefully with modernity and alienation of foreign products, this does not change these traditions.

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