fiestas, Food Culture

Food in the Fiesta of the Virgin of Carmen

During the fiesta del Carmen different dishes and special foods are served throughout the festivity. Each day a particular dish is served and among them the most delicious that are filled with symbolism and a whole mythology, such as lechón and chiriuchu.

On the fiesta’s central day in Paucartambo the signature dish is served, a delicious lechón. It appears that day in all the cargos; they are 17 if I remember right. Can you imagine the enormous banquets that must be prepared for an enormous quantity of people that includes the dancers and guests. The food must always be served in great abundance and must never be lacking and must always be accompanied with abundant drink.

Having a Delicious Lechon in Paucartambo (Walter Coraza Morveli)
Having a Delicious Lechon in Paucartambo (Walter Coraza Morveli)

The fiesta is a veritable feast. Food is important in the feast. Another dish that is key in the fiesta meals is chairo. It is a concentrated soup made from chuño, wheat, lamb tripe, and meat. It is served at night for people to free themselves from cold. It is served steaming hot.

In the same fiesta, but in the town of Pisac, their custom is almost the same. On the central day everyone enjoys a lechón with a tamale and bread. As a first course they serve chairo soup. On the next day in all the cargos they serve up a majestic chiriuchu. It is one of the most loved dishes by the guests since it is a delight for the palate and enchants almost everyone.

Serving some soup in the feast (Walter Coraza Morveli)
Serving some soup in the feast (Walter Coraza Morveli)

Mornings during every day of the fiesta people enjoy a nourishing an invigorating soup to help cure the hang over from the day before. I good chicken soup is the best in Paucartambo. It is served in all the cargos as well as in the town’s restaurants, established or opened just for the feast. It is a main morning dish to raise spirits.

Just as there are lovers of chicken soup, there are others who love a good adobo. I am one of them. It enchants me. When I went to Paucartambo for the first time I had a bowl to start the day and it became one of the dishes I like the best. It is spicy and healing. There is no better choice.

Pork, guinea pig, and chicken along with Andean tubers and more are the foods that rule in the feasts. They make their own fiesta.

Eating Chairo soup in Pisac during the Feast
Eating Chairo soup in Pisac during the Feast
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