Country of the Month: Peru!
Peru is one of those countries where your “Must-see” list will just keep growing. Talking to people who have been to Peru or browsing their website, you uncover something new and intriguing with every click or question. It is just a wonderful country where no trip seems long enough. What makes it so unique? They have remarkable ruins, some of the tallest mountains, desserts that sustain cities, the beautiful Amazon Rainforest, and food you will want to bring home.
Ready to learn about Peru alongside our children this month?
The most notable tribe in Peru was the Incas. They began as a small yet intelligent and organized tribe residing in the modern-day town of Cusco. The Incas attempted to expand beyond their city limits but faced fearsome resistance from neighboring tribes. Then, everything shifted when Pachacuti rose to power. Pachacuti is considered the greatest conqueror in Latin America and is often compared to Alexander the great from Macedonia. Under this leadership, and later his son Topa Inca, the empire at its height encompassed all of the Colombian-Ecuador border and even extended into central Chile.
However, in 1533, Francisco Pizzaro, a Spanish conqueror, set his eyes on Peru and the abundance of natural resources/fortune it possessed. After almost 300 years of rebellions and mistreatment, in 1824, Peru declared itself free and independent from Spanish rule. As it tried to find its place in Latin America, Peru held many boundary disputes until 1998. Today, there is much diversity in how people live and their connection to their roots and surroundings.
Peru has many unique ingredients because its country is so ecologically diverse. Therefore, the taste comes from the fresh ingredients usually plucked and used shortly after.
This is Peru’s national dish. Ceviche is different in every country, but Peruvian ceviche has these five base ingredients: white fish cooked in lime, fresh onion, salt, and chilies. When the ceviche is gone, and all left is the juice at the end, Peruvians will drink this down in a shot glass! They call the liquid at the end Tiger’s milk.
This dish in English is called Beef Stir-Fry and is warm, flavourful, and filling. Beef is marinated for hours and then cooked with tomatoes, peppers, and onions. If you are not full, you can enjoy the side of french fries that commonly comes with it.
Papas a la Huancaina
You might think you know what to expect from a dish called potatoes with cheese sauce, but Peruvian ingredients sets this dish apart. A cold-comfort food, potatoes are laid down, smothered in cheese sauce, and topped with hard boiled eggs and olives!
Feeling adventurous? Then we suggest you try cuy, also known as a guinea pig. Cuy is a food option available throughout the year instead of simply on special holidays. Its preparation is commonly a sideshow at restaurants as cuy is usually roasted on a spit.
Pollo a la Brassa
Pollo a la Brassa is Rotisserie Chicken. It is so good, they have a whole day dedicated to this dish. A combination of many spices are used to cover every inch of the chicken, and it is cooked until the outside is nice and crispy!
The most popular tourist attraction in Peru is Machu Picchu. Machu Picchu, one of the world’s new seven wonders, is an ancient city built by the Incas within the Andes mountains. It takes several days to get there, primarily by hiking. Since it is at such a high elevation, tourists must take many breaks for their bodies to get accustomed to the lack of oxygen. But once you reach the peak, it is truly a breathtaking scene worth all the trouble. Watch the following video with your kids to see what Machu Picchu is like!
Thank you so much to our staff from Peru! You are hardworking individuals who make our classrooms more lively and filled with music. We are thankful to have you in our community and to be able to learn so much about your culture. Talking to you is always exciting and leaves us wanting to travel and try new dishes!
Ms. Lily: Lead Teacher