Thanksgiving in Peru

Overheard one morning last week: a conversation between SSTers about the food from home they were missing the most. Barbecue topped the list for a couple of students. Fortunately for all of us (but maybe especially for them) our lunch plans that day involved heading south to the district of Villa Maria, where Alicia and her family were preparing pachamanca for us.

Pachamanca, a traditional highlands meal, is something of a barbecue/Thanksgiving hybrid in which chicken (or other meat), potatoes, beans, tamales, and sweet potatoes are cooked underground by heated rocks. It’s a major undertaking typically reserved for special occasions, and we watched with interest—and took pictures of—many steps that go into creating the meal.

As we ate lunch, our plates piled high with savory offerings, we were grateful for the gracious hospitality shown by our hosts.