Customs, Food Culture

The Typical Breakfast of Cusco

Pork Roast, Lechon to Celebrate the Day of Leaving and Dead

Every Sunday, after the first mass at 6:00 A.M. in the Cathedral of Cusco, we eat the typical Cusco breakfast. It is a custom that has been ingrained since the time of our grandparents and great grandparents.

All the people coming out of the cathedral at the end of the first mass in the morning runs to line up to buy a delicious lechón, roast pork, accompanied by Cusco-style tamales and coffee. These are prepared in the style of our ancestors. The people then sit on the green wooden benches in the main square of Cusco or on the stairs that are outside the Cathedral to enjoy this delicious breakfast. When they finish, they just return to their homes.

The Cusqueño breakfast consists of:

Lechón – that is pork seasoned the day before and prepared in a very special way prior to Sunday Mass. Its preparation involves removing with care all hair from the pork skin until it is completely clean. Then they extend the pork on a clean board and spread plenty of salt on it to draw off excess water from the skin. After this is done, the roast receives lime juice on the skin of the pig and the roast is left exposed to the sun. Then you add the seasoning which should not miss: salt, yellow pepper, onion, garlic, cumin, soy sauce. You leave the pork to rest all night in the seasonings so that it impregnates the meat.

The morning the salt is rectified according to the taste of the cooks. It is sent to bake between 6 and 8 hours in a traditional oven made of clay and brick at a suitable temperature that allows slow but complete cooking.

And, when done, it is wrapped very well in sugared paper to keep its temperature up. It is then taken to the main square of Cusco to be sold to those who attended an early mass. A portion costs 10.00 /S.

The tamales: are made by hand of white corn. They are handmade in Cusco homes. These tamales can be sweet or savory according to the taste of each person. Their cost per tamal is 1.20 /S. and they are sold outside the cathedral wrapped in baskets covered in white cloth.

Coffee – this is not just any coffee. It is a coffee that is brewed through a special filtering cloth. It is first roasted and ground at home. It has an unparalleled taste and a delicious aroma. It arrives at the square in a thermos to keep it warm and is sold in the morning on the outskirts of the cathedral to accompany the lechón and tamales. The glass of coffee costs 1.00 /S.

Do not forget that if you arrive after 7:30 am they will not find this breakfast. So, we have to get up early.

With experience, I can tell you that this is the best breakfast in Cusco.

All families are invited to taste this typical traditional Cusquenian breakfast and to preserve this delicious tradition.

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