Events, Food Culture, Traditional Food

Meat, Potatoes, and Dance Help Pay Medical Emergencies in Cusco

A Parrillada in a Neighborhood

A Parrillada in a Neighborhood

On Cusco’s tables you often find the traditional chicken, beef-pork, or trout, generally called pollada, parrillada, and truchada respectively. These meats not only give you a wonderful sensation when you eat them, they also bring lots of joy and entertainment because they are only made on special occasions.

Whenever someone suffers an accident and their family does not have sufficient economic resources to cover all the expenses, the family will rush to prepare a pollada, parrillada, or truchada, especially one called bailable, that is with music for dancing. They pull together this event for people to show solidarity with the needy and, in this way, supporting an good cause.

The people in charge of carrying out this event prepare for days by going throughout their networks of family, friends, and acquaintances to sell tickets to the event. When they have the tickets made up they tell the cause for which the event is being organized as well as the place where it will be carried out, the starting time, and the cost per ticket.

Grilling Meat in its Juice Over Coals (Photo: Walter Coraza Morveli)
Grilling Meat in its Juice Over Coals (Photo: Walter Coraza Morveli)

These happenings are only done on Saturdays and Sundays, since during the week it would be difficult to carry out since people work and have other obligations. For that reason they take place when people are likely to be free and when they can come and enjoy with complete tranquility.

Our public roads and neighborhood sports fields are where the events are performed. From early in the morning people are in charge of getting together to clean the space, put up the tents, connect the sound system, and leave everything ready to begin the event.

At around 10 am or a bit more the party begins. The music begins to sound and little by little people arrive to eat their meal. A good-sized cut of oven-baked chicken is served with two baked potatoes. The grilled meat from the parrillada comes with two boiled potatoes while a whole fried trout is served up with one boiled potato and a portion of mote (hominy corn). All of these are enjoyed with the addition of a spicy and agreeable hot sauce and the cost is 10/S a plate.

Chicken at a Pollada
Chicken at a Pollada

Eating well, enjoying good music, and drinking beer or soft drinks the people spend an enjoyable and indeed enchanting day. They all are happy since they were able to help a good cause while having fun.

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