Chicha

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26.10.2011

 

Chicha is a term used in Peru and some other regions of Latin America for several varieties of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Chicha is most commonly made from maize. It is traditionally prepared from a specific kind of yellow maize (jora). The alcohol content in the drink may differ depending on preparation, but in average, it is about 5.5%.  
The use and consumption of Chicha dates back to the pre-colonial era of Peru. The most ancient production facility for chicha discovered in Peru dates to the 10th century AD.

During the Inca Empire chicha was considered a ritual drink and was the only drink supplied during religious festivals. The acolytes were making chichi in special rooms at the temples. Archaeological excavations have discovered a number of dishes the Incas used to make and store the chichi. Making chichia was considered a female job and women were sent to school to learn how to prepare Chicha.

In modern Peru the chicha is normally sold in 'chicherias' consisting of an unused room or a corner of the patio of a village home and made by the women. Considering that most of the adult villagers are illiterate, “chicherias” generally identified not by a sign board, but by a bamboo pole sticking out of the open door, adorned with (often red) flags, flowers, ribbons or coloured plastic bags.

You can order Chicha morada in the cafes and restaurants of Peru. It is usually sweet and unfermented and prepared from purple corn (maiz morado). There are regional varieties of non-alcoholic chicha. In and around Cuzco, strawberries are added to chicha in season to make frutillada. In Puno, chicha can be made from quinoa.  In Ayacucho, chicha de siete semillas is a thick, rich-tasting chicha made from maize, wheat, barley, and garbanzo beans.

Here is the video about the process of preparation of Chicha morada: