An article by Spanish newspaper El Pais featured the preparation of pachamanca, an ancient Andean dish that a journalist tried on his way to Nazca city (Ica region) south of Lima.
The writer tells his own story on how he experienced this Andean ritual at Wasipunko, a hotel on the outskirts of Nazca city, owned by Olivia Sejuro.
He did not hesitate to taste it when he heard the place was going to serve pachamanca —an Andean ritual dish that dates back to ancient times in this part of the Andean mountain range.
According to the article
, some people think records about its preparation may be available in archaeological remains dating back 7,000 or 8,000 years ago to the Neolithic.
Pachamanca is not an everyday dish, but a ritual preparation and the origin of a monumental festivity that celebrates life and Mother Earth's fertility.
Its preparation involves a variety of Andes' daily ingredients (potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, field beans or cassava) and culinary luxury (pork, beef, mutton, guinea pig, chicken, llama or alpaca).
Aromatic herbs are a must for flavorful cooking in the Peruvian highlands. Huacatay, paico, chincho and muña may be good options in this case.
Ingredients may vary but special attention must be put on the cooking process. This traditional dish is based on the baking —with the aid of hot stones in an earthen oven— of different types of meat marinated in spices.
The article notes the way Sejuro turned a generally massive ceremony into a private and almost familiar activity.