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The Sound of Tamales

Tamales are the Favorite Delight of Cuzco (Photo: Walter Coraza Morveli)

The tamale is a product that since ancient times has a great significance in Peruvian cuisine and that in the different towns of Peru is also part of its culture and tradition.

In the center of the city of Cusco are different neighborhoods and traditional streets that since exist since colonial times. The maintain their old names. The houses are really old made of adobe and tile, and are inherited from generation to generation.

These streets are well traveled and from very early in the morning, the first sound is that of the roosters singing to announce the sunrise, followed by the bakers distributing bread in their baskets for breakfast.

But a sound that is almost no longer heard, only in some traditional neighborhoods, is a whistle accompanied by a phrase in a strong and vigorous voice, “tamales.” It is heard even in our hearts.

The Casera Who Sells Delicious Tamales (Walter Coraza)
The Casera Who Sells Delicious Tamales (Walter Coraza)

It is the tamale vendor, who with his wooden box on the shoulders, still goes through the narrow streets of the traditional neighborhoods of the city selling delicious tamales. Children imitate this action, playing at being the tamale vendor and the customers.

Everyone knows the sound of the tamale vendors. On hearing it, they come to their door or their balconies calling the tamalero (vendor) to buy tamales for their breakfast.

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