The Feast of Corpus Christi made the people of Cuzco vibrate with joy like every year. The Plaza de Armas filled with lots of people. From early in the morning they started coming to find a good place from which to watch the 15 images of the Saints and Virgins from the various parishes of the City along with their followers along their parade route. They also wanted to greet the body of Christ in the form of the host.
In these fiestas you could also find our rich gastronomy. Cuzco’s chiriucho is the emblematic dish for the occasion. It is a cold plate of many ingredients and is eaten with the hands. It includes ingredients such as baked cuy, boiled chicken, jerky, seaweed, fish-eggs (cau cau), crispy, savoy cakes, and for those who like things spicy the inevitable rocoto.
Besides this dish the season also brings us lots of fresh fruit. Our caseras, vendors, carry it throughout the city to sell from most corners. These include the cherimoya, the mandarin oranges, the pomegranate, coconut, sugar cane, and others. All of these fruits shine from the stands and baskets where they are arranged to be attractive and to sell.
As time goes by, the caseras have less fruit since there are a lot of people. As they go by they buy some, a fresh mandarin or a pleasing and cooling cherimoya. Other people also take a bit to enjoy while watching the Saints go by.
After they have enjoyed a chiriuchu, some people also buy a bit of fruit to eat as a desert. Especially children love fresh, seasonal fruit.
Observing the arrival of the saints, enjoying an ancestral dish called chiriuchu, drinking a beer, and eating natural fruit is how we celebrate Corpus Christi in Cuzco.