The Andes is home to a varied set of tribes and communities, and all of them have adapted to a rigorous life in the high altitude region. This means, food is usually high protein and high fat, so that energy is conserved in the body. Naturally, Andean people eat a lot of meat for this reason, and vegetables are hard to come by. This does not mean Andean cuisine lacks vegetables or fruits. They do eat them aplenty. There are certain dishes that are very popular in the Andean region. One such is the Olluquito Con Charqui.
Olluquito con Charqui is tasty
This typically Andean dish is made from a root that is similar to potato. Olluco, as the tuber is known in these parts, is yellow in color and gets crispy when cooked. It does not get soft like potatoes. This is served alongside Charqui, which is similar to jerky meat. You can notice the resemblance in pronunciation between the words Charqui and jerky. They both seem to have a common linguistic root and they both mean the same as well. Traditionally, Chharqui was prepared with alpaca or llama meat. However, it is common to serve with lamb or goat meat these days.
The dish is served with steamed rice and gravy, and is great during a cold Andean evening. The warm and spicy flavors will make your mouth water, and you will crave for some alcohol as well. Andean liquors can be quite strong and will help you to socialize with other tourists and locals alike. If you are visiting the Andes, do not forget to try Olluquito con Charqui. After all, food is an integral aspect of travel and understanding a different culture.
Have you tried Peruvian cuisine before?
Have you ever tried Olluquito con Charqui in your home country? Did any of the Peruvian restaurants there serve it when you visited them for a hearty meal? We would love to learn how you felt when you tasted something Peruvian for the first time. Do let us know in the comments section below.