When the months of February and March come and the fiestas of Carnival arrive our satisfying traditions–music, dance, costumes, the yunza tree, chicha, and our special foods, of course– can never be missing.
Among all the arrangements—such as blowing up balloons, buying colorful streamers, finding the perfect tree, sending out invitations to our people—people especially pay attention to cooking puchero. It is one of our most traditional and remembered dishes.
This dish is traditional for Carnival. People make it generally for the main day and for the remate, the final burst of Carnival where you expect lots of noise and joy, as well as good food. The housewives, as well as those charged with offering the many feasts, need to find just the right ingredients to be able to cook up the puchero.
This dish requires many ingredients, which are easily found and purchased in our markets, especially the largest of the city, such as San Pedro and Vin Canchón. They offer to the public in general all of the necessary ingredients as well as many other things needed for daily consumption in our city.
The ingredients of this dish form a great combination among meats, vegetables with starches, green vegetables, and fruit. Everything is cooked in water. With this different but efficient technique, cooking all these ingredients gives the thimpu, which is another name for puchero, a delicious and incomparable depth of flavor.
To balance the flavor people use potatoes, yucas, morayas (white freeze-dried potatoes), and sweet potatoes, as well as fresh corn. On being dished up, these ingredients when together make a concentrated broth in which you find the properties of all the ingredients concentrated to the fullest. As a result the taste is in comparable.
For Carnival in the midst of the whole array of celebrations, you will find special events or fairs celebrating puchero. One of these is carried out in the District of San Sebastian, Cuzco. You will find it in the main plaza where the best recipes of puchero and thimpu compete.
In reality, this is an event where it is hard to let go by the opportunity of trying this traditional stew. Filled with people who are having fun walking by and checking out every stand, as well as the prices, you will find it necessary to sit down on one of the benches and take pleasure with a dish of this Carnival delight.
Of course, if you do not go to this fair or you do not go to one of the yunsadas, or celebrations around the yunsa tree, to try the thimpu, you can make it up at home. It is not Carnival if you do not have our traditional puchero.