If you are wondering what the quintessential drink of Peru is, one’s vote always goes in favor of chicha morada. This fermented non-alcoholic drink as a whole is representative of the South American country. It is a refreshing drink made from purple corn (or ckolli culli Peruvian variety) with some fruits like pineapple or quince, along with spices (cloves and cinnamon), and, after filtering and before serving, it is added with sugar, fruits, lemon juice and ice.
Its origin dates back to pre-Hispanic times, where it was prepared for medicinal and ceremonial purposes. Purple corn is widely cultivated in Peru and is used to produce soft drinks, sorbets and desserts. Aside from its delicious taste chicha morada is a drink full of health benefits. Some studies have shown it to be a potent antioxidant, bad cholesterol inhibitor, a protector of the retina, stimulating blood circulation, among others.
The large number of anthocyanins, besides giving that characteristic purple color is responsible for counter-aging of the cells of our body. Moreover, it is quite high in resveratrol and it can have 4 times more resveratrol than red wine. Lima and other coastal cities welcome it as refreshment and as a great companion in birthday parties and other events. It has a huge popularity among children too. From restaurants to small kiosks, they are widely available even as powdered and ready to take form.
Coincidently, it reminds you of a Caribbean drink known as sorrel, made from hibiscus. Purple corn certainly has a great taste, but if your taste senses do not respond well to it, do try dried hibiscus as a good substitute.
Mazamorra morada is another yummy sweet dish made from purple corn. Did you ever try a dish made from purple corn before?