Meet cebiche de chocho, Huaraz’s hearty food icon

P erhaps one of the most popular local dishes of Huaraz, yet one which is often overlooked by travellers, is cebiche de chocho. The local Huaracinos refer to it as simply “chocho” and it is consumed frequently as a refreshing anytime meal. This traditional, tasty yet simple dish should be an essential gastronomic experience for all visitors to Huaraz and must not be confused with its well-known cousin, Cebiche de pescado.

The bean

Chocho (or tarwi as it is known in Quechua language) is its principal ingredient, an Andean white legume with a smooth bean shape. Although it is thought to have been domesticated thousands of years ago, historians have written about it for centuries, tracing it back to Pre-Incan civilizations like Nazca (100 to 500 B.C) and Tiahuanaco ( 500 to 1000 A.C) with archaeological discoveries confirming its presence in ancient tombs and pottery. Local farmers now cultivate the ancestral bean in different provinces of the Andean region ranging from the North in Cajamarca to the South in Puno and proudly Huaraz is a city that promotes its consumption through this mouth-watering dish.

Tarwi has a natural bitter taste due to organic chemicals rich in nitrogen called alkaloids and, in order to get rid of them, traditional chocho experts soak the beans in water which after being boiled are finally placed in a mesh that allows water to run through for over a week. Others prefer to boil them for an entire day on a wood burning stove and, once ready, lay them on a fabric sheet in the river banks from where for up to three days the downstream waters should leave no remains of their bitterness.

The dish’s value

The exotic Cebiche de chocho excites our mouths with a subtle yet sharp citrus flavour originating from the beans which have been marinated in lemon juice and spices. The high protein content of the beans (16 gr per 100gr) and additional presence of essential minerals and amino acids like lysine – a compound that increases our calcium absorption – ensures the dish is a healthy and nourishing choice. Its other ingredients, including onions, tomatoes, celery and coriander make up for the perfect healthy mix of greens that sit in great company on our plates with other complements such as sweet potato and Andean toasted corn.

There is still something more about Cebiche de chocho that distinguishes it from the neighbour foodie traditions in the coast and jungle regions in Peru and that is its significance for the community. It is the infallible social gatherer in get togethers: only huaracinos would refuse a cup of coffee to catch up with a dear friend and trade it for a Cebiche de chocho reunion at their favourite chocheria. Being a somewhat social dish, it is often consumed with an alcoholic beverage or a typical “gaseosa”.

Where to eat it

A tasty and well served Cebiche de chocho is available is most parts of Huaraz centre and suburbs, but keeping a good eye on the best whereabouts, will make your experience truly unforgettable. Chocho can be purchased for as little as one sol on the streets near the Central Market Virgen de Fatima and the better chocherias and cebicherias will normally serve a standard portion for around five soles.

¡Buen provecho!

Author: Natalia Perez
Photo: The biggest chocho in the world was prepared in Huaraz

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

*

Huaraz bodybuilder to participate in Joe Weider´s Mr. Olympia Amateur, Spain

Willian Cáceres Tarazona from Huaraz will represent Peru at Mr. Olympia Amateur in Alicante, Spain during the fourth edition of […]

Alianza Lima suffers shock defeat in Huaraz against Sport Rosario

An efficient performance by Huaraz-based club Sport Rosario saw the Auriazules overcome a lacklustre Alianza Lima 3-2 at Rosas Pampa […]

Alisa Clamen after completing Santa Cruz Trek: “It felt like I completed something Jesse couldn’t”

Jesse Galganov´s mother Alisa Clamen looked incredibly tired when the editor of The Huaraz Telegraph met her yesterday morning for […]

Jesse´s father keeps his promise and heads to the Santa Cruz Trek

Though one day delayed, at six o´clock sharp this morning, Todd Galganov left Huaraz by private car heading for the […]

Thirty-five people got killed in traffic accidents in Ancash between January and April

In just four months there were already 235 reported traffic accidents in the Ancash region, killing 35 people and more […]

Hotel San Sebastian and 13 Búhos gain spots in newest edition of Rough Guides

Although most travellers nowadays carry tablets, smart phones and even laptops to gather their tourist information while exploring a foreign […]

Without a budget, the Peruvian Army and Police Force start a massive four-day search for Jesse Galganov next week

There are anxious days ahead for Todd Galganov who is getting everything done to prepare for what appears to be […]

A troubled father who deserves the compassion of a city

A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Todd Galganov, Jesse´s father for the first time. A […]

Todd Galganov eager to meet either Canadian PM or President Trump in order to find Jesse

Between April 13 and 14, the eighth edition of the Summit of the Americas will be held at Lima, Peru […]

Todd Galganov in tears during dramatic press conference; ¨where is my son¨?

Jesse Galganov, the now 23-year-old backpacker from Montreal, Canada, has been missing for 180 days and sadly, so far there […]

An average of almost two Peruvians per day go missing in Peru; never to be found

On the 8th of February during his television programme Beto a Saber, Peruvian journalist Beto Ortiz shared some  incredibly worrying […]

Trio of female mountaineers to share their experiences in the Cultural Centre

This 17th of February three female mountaineers (Flor Cuenca, Tana Mejía and Malú Espinoza) will share their experiences with amateur […]

Local tourism operator worried about unexpected closure of Hatun Machay

Rosario Pilar Obregón Domínguez´ reign at Hatun Machay keeps worrying local tourism operators. The psychologist from Huaraz was granted by […]

Money or true animal love? ´Rightful owner´ of Wendy claims Steve-O stole his dog

Percy Poma Loli, a 44-year-old businessman from Huaraz caught the attention of the national press claiming that his dog named […]

Lima Airlines becomes seventh national airline operating in Peru; Huaraz not on destination list

Six airlines control the domestic Peruvian air market and now a seventh operator enlists its next entry. Last Saturday, Lima […]

Jesse Galganov´s reward increased up to S/ 100.000 (30.000 U$ approx.)

The return to Peru for Alisa Clamen couldn’t have gotten off to a worse start. She was supposed to arrive […]

Update: Search for Jesse Galganov continued, mother on her way to Huaraz

The Huaraz Telegraph was informed by Gideon Harari from Israel, specialised in intelligence services and investigation, that the search for […]

Unasam inaugurates museum that will exhibit research of its archeology students

With the presence of the main regional and local authorities, the National University Santiago Antúnez de Mayolo (Unasam) inaugurated a […]