Customs

The Andean Kitchen, a Special, Traditional Space

Multilevel Fogón in a Private Home in Cuzco

The Andean kitchens of Peru are traditional spaces that are not characterized by being well decorated, having good light, or having the walls well painted, but by traditional elements as well as the connection that exists between people with this space.

At present the Andean kitchens are already scarce. This is due to modernity and the exclusive use of modern fixtures. Still, in some villages where the economic activity is agriculture and in the picanterías these traditional spaces are still maintained.

Andean kitchens are characterized by their famous ovens made of stones and mud, and also by different elements that give life to these spaces such as guinea pigs, firewood, clay pots, and seats with sheep skins. Decoration does not have much importance. Since the fuel used is wood, the roof and the walls of the place turn black.

Raquis Filled with Chicha in the Chichería (Photo: Wayra)
Raquis Filled with Chicha in the Chichería (Photo: Wayra)

This space is a purely familiar place, especially in the cold and rainy seasons. Everyone wants to be in the kitchen because it is a warm space where experiences, anecdotes and especially traditional cuisine are shared.

For a lot of people who are now adults hearing about these places will bring beautiful memories. But there is more to this traditional space in a timeline of cultures and civilizations that existed in the Andes of Peru.

Tombs have been found in the spaces of the kitchens, referring to the importance of this place and the person who spends a large percentage of their time is these spaces, either to raise their memory and that they could rest in peace in the place where more time passed.

Then, there are the traditions of serving the food. It is offered first to the pachamama or, perhaps, to the person who is buried in this place as a priority. We ask permission and give thanks for the food we have.

These traditional spaces are a great source of culture that comes from the ancestors and forge a great connection through all this knowledge with the family.

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