Pisco Sour: the emblematic cocktail of Peru.

Pisco Sour, the emblematic cocktail of Peru

Pisco Sour: the emblematic cocktail of Peru.

Pisco is without a doubt one of the most controversial, patriotic and mythical alcoholic beverages in the world. Besides that, it makes for an extraordinary tasty cocktail: the Pisco Sour!
This brandy based mix has been popular for centuries in Peru, and many restaurants in Cusco like to offer it as a free drink to their clientes. But Pisco comes with its fair share of controversies.

First of all there is the discrepancy about the exact origin of the name pisco itself . Some say it means bird in Quechua; a species frequently seen in what today is known as the Pisco Valley. The natives of this coastal valley were also called piskos. They were exceptional ceramic artisans and the clay pots they made to keep their local moonshine chicha in were eventually also called piskos. Sailors that transported these pots between the colonies then started naming the drink pisco, after the port of Pisco where it was believed to originate from.
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How the ancient Inca Traditions remain in Peru´s Society Today

How the ancient Inca Traditions remain in Peru´s Society Today

How the ancient Inca Traditions remain in Peru´s Society Today

The sacramental celebration of Corpus Christi, of the body and blood of Christ, is a spiritual ceremony held in the beautiful city of Cusco. Attending this procession, one feels within a force of contrasts, being witness to this significant Christian celebration in the setting of Cusco, the center of Inca heritage in Peru. Enjoy the colorful parade of the Christian saints while experiencing the locals displaying their colorful costumes, moving to traditional Andean music.

The festival of Corpus Christi is created from both the indigenous roots of Peru and its Spanish influences brought by the conquistadores. Before the arrival of the Spaniards, the Inca had their own way of worshiping and paying tribute to their holy figures – on special occasions, the mummies of ancestors were carried out in large procession and celebrated in their ancient rituals. (more…)

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Test your Knowledge about these 3 Symbols of the Incas

Test your Knowledge about these 3 Symbols of the Incas

Test your Knowledge about these 3 Symbols of the Incas

Walking through the city of Cusco, the ancient centre of the Inca Empire, we can sometimes spot faded (and undiscovered?) shapes and symbols in the stone walls and paths. A lot of neighbourhoods in Cusco still contain the original stones from the high times of the Inca culture.

We can also still find plenty of impressive Inca remains around the city. Upon visiting these sites today, one cannot avoid noticing the symbols carved into the stone that have the shape of three reoccurring animals: the Condor, the Puma and the Snake. What did these animals mean to the Inca and what mysteries do they hold today?
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Peru, land of the Potato: How the ancient root can secure food supply in Peru facing climate change

Peru, land of the Potato: How the ancient root can secure food supply in Peru facing climate change

The awareness for global warming is increasing. The governments of various countries as well as civil organizations are making a great effort to take steps towards lessening the impacts of climate changes and adapting to its current conditions. Unfortunately, the people who are most affected by global warming are the least to blame for its acceleration.

Being one of the megadiverse countries with an extremely high biodiversity, Peru will be greatly affected. Peru’s minorities, such as the indigenous population, have already been impacted by global warning. Sadly, these are the people that have the fewest resources do adapt to future challenges. The region of Cusco has already been affected by the effects of the changing conditions.
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Experience the legacy of the Inca God Wiracocha

Experience the legacy of the Inca God Wiracocha

Peru is rich in hidden mysteries, ancient culture and testimonies carved in stone. In order to find out about these cultural wonders, one does not necessarily have to open up a history book. Although a great deal of the evidence of the Inca Empire (1425 CE – 1532 CE) was destroyed by the Spanish conquistadores, there is still an astounding amount of ruins in Peru that give us hints about this high culture.

At the same time, these stony remains also bring up many questions. Who were the Incas? How were they capable of constructing impressive cities, infrastructures and temples? Which beliefs were they driven by? (more…)

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Golden grain from the Andes

El Grano de Oro de los Andes

In the Western world it is only now starting to gain fame but in South-America, especially in Peru, it has been a common good for over 4,000 years: Quinoa. This high in protein grain, lacks gluten and is rich of calcium and iron. The nutritional value is comparable to that of cereals. Quinoa is used in soups, stews but also in cakes, breads and in Cusco, there is even a very popular ‘mermelada de quinoa’, quinoa marmalade.
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Buying Peruvian Textiles in Cusco

peruvian-textiles

Textiles are important in Peru. They have been since pre-Columbian times. They have been since pre-Incan times. They continued to be important despite attempts by the Spanish to destroy indigenous culture and identity, and they are still important today thanks to renewed interest in studying and preserving indigenous culture.

Unsurprisingly, part of the importance of textiles today is economic. Who doesn’t love brightly colored, super soft, or elaborately patterned gifts to take back home to friends and family? Heck, that souvenir might not even make it back home, you’ll end up stealing your sister’s scarf for yourself on the air-conditioned airplane ride. From textiles rendered into modern-day bags, purses, and shoes to more traditional textiles like the liqlla (blanket), jakima (small ribbon), and chullo (knitted men’s hat), there are a range of gorgeous products that fill every market and standout in shop window displays. With all the variety, it can sometimes be overwhelming. How do you know what type of hat to get your dad when there are thousandsof different kinds and thousands of different people selling? How do you find the best deal or the best quality? Where can you find fair trade items? Find the answers in this Guide to Buying Textiles in Cusco.

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Peru, home of the potato

Peru, home of the potato

All though for many many years the potatoe was consired “peruvian”, since 2008 there has been a high-rising conflict between Peru and neighbor Chile. Both countries have been fighting for years about which of them can be considered ‘the home’ of the potato. Fact is that scientists all believe potatoes have originated from the Andes in Peru. Well over 100 potato cultivators can be found in just one valley in Peru! Some of the oldest archeological finds were located around Lake Titicaca. The potato began it’s career in food culture between 2000 and 3000 BC and continues today with many different colors, flavors, sizes and textures.

The potato was first introduced in Europe by Spanish explorers. Coming back home from their South-American expeditions in 1536 they brought potato plants with them. The Inca’s had been cultivating the plant for hundreds of years; Spanish monks started to spread the potato to other European countries. They planted potato plants in the gardens of their monasteries. Soon different races arose and people started to breed crosses. Nowadays there are more than 4000 different kinds of potatoes in the world.
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