CustomsTraditional Food

The Good Old Days in Cuzco

If we work our memory a bit, we can think about how Cuzco was some years ago when natural medicine and good food were the most important thing for its inhabitants. They did not have all the modern clothes and may not so much jewelry. Rather they wanted to live naturally and healthily.

Raising animals was very important to them, as if it were a sport they practiced. They had to raise different animals. The most important thing for raising them well and obtaining good results was to give them good nutrition and balanced food. For example, they would give their chickens boiled barley which was one of those birds’ favorite treats.

A Cowherd and His Cows
A Cowherd and His Cows

They also had hectares of fields where they grew a variety of Andean crops sewn in orderly fashion. You could see the different kinds of potatoes and the always-present corn, each with beautiful colors. There leaves were different shades of green and on the tips of the corn stalks you could see the tassels and developing ears on its sides.

One of the traditions they held was to kill one of their largest animals when it was a family birthday. This could be a guinea pig, a chicken, or a hog. It was the same. They knew that it was always exquisite to enjoy the flesh of one of these animals.

Soltero a Traditional Dish with Vegetables and Cheesse
Soltero a Traditional Dish with Vegetables and Cheesse

The women and the grandmothers took charge of preparing delicious, naturally seasoned dishes. Then everyone would come together to enjoy the food as the party began. They would also go out and dance. Among themselves they would party, perhaps with pachanguera music which was an anthology of cumbias. In their hands they carried their respective glasses of chicha and frutillada.

Besides this, they would bathe and wash themselves with medicinal plants. Their gardens were a kind of pharmacy where you could find all kinds of medicinal plants and herbs. Whenever someone would feel sick they would immediately go and gather the right herbs to cure the illness that afflicted the person. They also would take baths with flowers and roses.

This is just a small scene of how life was in the City of Cuzco when there was almost no violence and robbery. They certainly were not felt like they are today. People were not so interested in money, only in that which was necessary.




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