One of the best things that the popular fiestas, cargos (feast sponsorships), and festivities of Cusco have is their gastronomy. I am referring to the foods that are from the neighborhoods and towns and its fusion of traditional flavors with new products that come into our market these days.
Cusco’s gastronomy is known for its ample offerings by tradition. It presents the best in variety and types, flavors and scents for all tastes. Among the most popular dishes in the list of our fast food are the anticuchos which are hard to not eat. You will also find a plate of rice with a fried egg, as well as a crispy chicharron with its mint salad. The two make and excellent combination. Of course, there is always our adobo which feels perfect for days of fiesta or for when you are hungover the next morning.
Whenever I go to fiestas or festivals I love to let myself be drawn in by the aromas of good food. I love to taste what each house offers in terms of food.
A week ago I went to a traditional religious festivity in the Sacred Valley, the celebration in honor of the Virgin Asunta. I enjoyed it a great deal and was fascinated by it.
As I went around trying different offering along my path, I saw a saw a stand that was completely out of the ordinary. It was promoting the consumption of mushrooms. I was surprised to see them offering a churrasco of zetas, something like a mushroom sautee. Immediately I decided to try it. Besides me there were other diners who were content and surprised from how much they enjoyed the dish. When I tried mine, I have to say that I found the mushrooms to have a delicate texture. They were a great substitute for the meat that is usually found in churrasco. They had an amazing flavor and made a great combination.
The two young women from the Sacred Valley who were sharing this vegetarian meat told me more. They said that these mushrooms were a new product that they are promoting in the different provinces of Cusco these days. Growing them is a new tendency among farmers.
The mushrooms can stand in for the meat in many of our traditional recipes such that we can enjoy their delicacy and Cusco-style vegetarian cuisine. And, they are quite inexpensive at only 20/S a kilo. Enjoy them.