How to cook for and Andean Party

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You need to start preparing early in the day. The men dig a large hole in the dusty ground among old ashes. Wood is thrown in the pit and set on fire, which is then covered by rocks to hold the heat. Potatoes are tossed into the pit, along with ears of corn in the husks, and large fava beans. Next small pieces of meat are wrapped in large leaves, and placed on top. Then you cover the pit with dirt, and leave the food to cook for half a day.

Now the men can relax, drinking beer and talking (similar to a Bar B Q). During this time the women are busy cooking the rest of the food. A favorite part of the meal is a creamy sauce made with fresh cheese, flour and milk.

Finally, after everyone is hungry, the men shovel out the pit. When they get close to the food they use their hands to quickly pick out the hot potatoes and other food from the dirt. The older leaders of the community are served first, with the children anxiously waiting till last.

While everyone is peeling off the charred potato skins, one of the women goes around and pours the delicious sauce over the food in your hand. The people feast, eating a little sand and ashes while they go, occasionally swatting the flies with their hands that are covered in cheese sauce and dust. After everyone is stuffed, they go down to the river to clean up their hands and faces. For people from our Andean village, there is no better meal.

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Last updated Mar 16, 2004 All Rights Reserved -- Todos los Derechos Reservados.