Llipcha y Jaucha: Andean Food
The people of the Peruvian Andes use many plants and herbs. With them they cover different needs such as folk medicine, alleviation of different diseases, food, and also as flavorings in cooking.
There are two popular words in the city of Cusco, haucha and llipcha. Both refer to the use of different edible plants. Although they have a very similar name they are completely different.
Haucha refers to cooked edible herbs. They can have different type of cooking, boiled or steamed. This type of herbs necessarily has to be cooked because they contain different properties that when in contact with boiling water disappear. A clear sample is turnip leaves, or mustard greens, also called llullu haucha.
La llipcha refers to a salad prepared with edible herbs. No matter the procedure, the type of herbs used must be fully edible without having to cook them.
We can talk about various accompaniments such as the salad for chicharrón consisting of onion and mint, also the cochallullo (sea or lake weed) for the solterito of cuchicara.
Several herbs can be used as both llipcha and haucha; these can be eaten cooked or uncooked.
The caceras (vendors) in the food markets of the city of Cusco help people to choose the type of herbs that can be consumed. In addition, there are people who are in charge of collecting these herbs and bringing them to the markets so that people can buy them.
Both llipcha and the haucha are present in Andean Gastronomy. Everywhere, you can find llipcha and haucha. Their name is not announced because it is so common that just by eating them people have them in their heads.