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Cusco Gastronomy: Chocolate, Pisco Sour and restaurants

Reading : 5 min August 1 2022

Your trip to Cusco is full of experiences that tell the history of the Imperial city, the life of the brave Incas and explain everything about their constructions, their art and their customs. Today we want to guide you through a different Cusco, one with lots of unsuspected flavors, emblematic drinks and delightful fusion of tradition, ancestral ingredients, great culinary experiments and the identity of Cusco's gastronomy.

What is gastronomy like in Cusco?

When we talk about gastronomy in the city of the Incas, we talk about tradition, customs and a walk through the Pachamama and its generous gifts. We talk about chicherías, picanterías and gourmet and experimental cuisine. We also talk about a whole new proposal that does not exclude the typical Cusco cuisine, but takes it as a starting point to fly and create unforgettable culinary experiences, because through the flavors stories are told, memories are built and the food of Cusco is perfect for it.

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Cusco cuisine is a merger of traditions, customs and Inca and colonial techniques, as well as current ones. Traditionally uses corn, quinoa and other cereals, alpaca, mutton, pork, chicken, cuy (guinea pig), aromatic herbs and tubers such as mashua, maca, oca and lots of native potatoes which, among other staff, today Perú is famous for. In the new culinary trends, food has become a complete experience that involves all the senses, and gastronomy in Cusco has everything to make each and every culinary moment an absolute delight.

On your trip to Cusco you will be able to find many different places to eat delicious food and fall even more in love with the Imperial city, but you can also live the experience of exploring a little and go deeper into some products, knowing about the mystique that surrounds them and makes them so special.

At Inca Rail we have chosen four unique experiences to share with you, so get ready and prepare your palate to be amazed.

Wine and native potatoes tasting

Potatoes have been part of peruvian history for centuries. Today is part of almost every typical dish of this country. Therefore, it is no surprise potatoes are an important ingredient for Cusco gastronomy.

In the Inca’s Sacred Valley, precisely in Chinchero’s town, lives Manuel Choqque, an agronomist dedicated to study potatoes and andean tubers, who has won international awards for his experiments with native potatoes.

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Along the years, Choqque has experimented with this precious gift from the Pachamama, researching to get new varieties and some improvements about its nutritional values, achieving great changes like color, getting blue potatoes, purple ones and even golden potatoes like the bright sun of the peruvian highlands. Choqque has managed to increase the antioxidant, analgesic and anti-carcinogenic properties of these tubers.

There are more than 350 varieties of native potatoes grown by Manuel Choqque, who in 2018 won the Summum gastronomic award as "Best producer of the year" and was cataloged this 2021 as a "culinary magician", by 50 NEX, a list that selects the 50 best talents in world gastronomy.

But besides potatoes, Choqque has managed to create a beverage based on tubbers. It is a mashua, oca and potato wine, of a strong, deep and wild flavor that you can taste as a part of a new Cusco gastronomy.

At Inca Rail we want to offer you a delicious experience to learn all about native potatoes, other tubers, and their great deal of varieties.

We start the tour in the morning heading to Chinchero, where you will visit the house of Manuel Choqque. Once there, you will learn about the importance of these tubers and taste their different and delicious flavors. You will finish the experience with a tasting of his wine and distillates with pure peruvian flavor.

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Schedule your visit by clicking on Potato Wine and Native Potato Tasting whenever is convenient for you.

Cacao, a devine fruit

Cacao was discovered more than three thousand years ago by southamerican first civilizations, but in the rest of the world it was known just a few centuries ago. It has been present during the growth of the ancient cultures of Perú, and today is one of the most representative products of our country.

In Peru, Cacao is grown in the Andes and in the jungle, especially in Cusco, San Martin, Amazonas, Piura, Ayacucho and Junin. It has a first class quality, and it makes Cacao a highly valued product worldwide. But Cacao not only allows the preparation of delicious chocolates, but it also has great properties and benefits for the body, as it is an excellent antioxidant,has lots of vitamin C, fiber and serotonin. Cacao is good to prevent cerebrovascular and gastric diseases.

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At Cusco’s Chocomuseo you will learn about Cacaos history, its importance among pre-columbian cultures, its processing once harvested and finally you will make your own chocolate bar so the experience would be unforgettable. We wanna show you all there is to know about this milenari fruit that has gained international recognition for being one of the finest in the world.

Let yourself be captivated by the warm, gentle and deep perfume of one of the most fantastic flavors there is. Click in Chocolate Making Classes and experience the Cacao gastronomic pleasure in Cusco with us.

Cooking Class at Pachapapa Restaurant

A gastronomic experience is more than just taste a dish or an ingredient, therefore at Pachapapa’s you will experience the creative process and the actual cooking of a traditional peruavian dish, this way you will not only enjoying food, but  will be creating a memory about a flavor out of this world and will be taking with you the knowledge to recreated once you are back home. This way you will share with your loved ones a little bit of the gastronomic experience you were part of in Cusco.

The tour starts in the morning heading to Pachapapa Restaurant, located in the beautiful neighborhood of San Blas just a few blocks away from the Plaza de Armas, where you will learn how to prepare a tasty peruvian dish, learning from the origin of the ingredients, its history and preparation. After the class you will be able to taste some other traditional andean dishes and you will be very satisfied for sure.

Learn everything there is to know about our package Cooking Classes at Pachapapa Restaurant and become an expert of the peruvian cuisine.

Exotic drinks

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Cusco is well known as a non stop activities place, where there is always something exciting to do, people from all around the world to meet, places to eat and bars where you can enjoy delicious cocktails as a part of its gastronomy. If you travel to Cusco you must taste a Pisco Sour, one of the most representative drinks of our country.

Pisco is a peruvian distilled spirit obtained through the process of distillation of grapes, very similar to the process of brandy or cognac, but without the long aging or resting in wooden barrels and is named after its place of origin, Pisco, on the coast of Peru.

With this liquor, delicious (but deadly) cocktails are made, but you can also drink it neat . If you wanna try it pure, we recommend you to be sure it is a high quality one.

The Pisco Sour is a very fresh cocktail based on pisco, lemon, egg white and a little bit of gum syrup to give it a sweet touch. It is famous all over the country, but Cusco definitely has some of the best Pisco Sours among its bars and restaurants.

At Inca Rail we have designed an experience that combines a visit to the Qoricancha Temple at night and the tasting of an exquisite Pisco Sour. You will learn how to prepare this drink and you will be able to share your new knowledge with friends and family who have not tried it yet.

Dare to try this delicious experience by clicking into Pisco Sour Clsses.

Interesting fact

There is a sort of large botanical repository called the Doomsday Vault in Svalbard, Norway, which is intended to store thousands of plant seeds for the purpose of preservation in the event of an environmental catastrophe due to climate change or nuclear war.

This repository opened its doors in 2008 and is located 426.5 feet (130 m) deep inside the  frozen mountains of the Norwegian archipelago, where 525,000 seeds from all over the world are stored, including seeds of our wonderful and unique native potatoes. In this way, in the event of an extreme world change as we know it today, the seeds would be perfectly preserved.

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Now that you know Cusco is not just about extreme sports, long challenging hikes, archeological sites, extraordinary landscapes and home of one of the wonders of the modern world, get ready to live experiences with flavor and color in a trip to the gastronomy of the Imperial city. 

Travel to the Cusco you really want to know and let us take care of everything.

 

Travel with no hassle, travel safe with Inca Rail.

 

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