For a Taste of Ancient Peruvian Cooking, Head to Vermont
Inside the pit, he burned a few logs of hickory, which would heat the stones over the next few hours. Then he went inside to make the humitas, mixing the corn into a paste with cinnamon, anise, cloves, vanilla, and sugar. The meat sat in the dining room, marinated in earthy huacatay, or Peruvian black mint, oregano, spearmint, ají amarillo, ají panca, garlic, and soy sauce (a nod to Chinese and Japanese influence in Peruvian cuisine).
In the kitchen, Mme Rondeau prepared a creamy and slightly spicy huancaína sauce with salted crackers, ají amarillo, olive oil, garlic, onion, cream and queso. fresco from his native Guatemala; Mr. Guadalupe made a salsa from his childhood, with green peppers, mustard, salt, mayonnaise and huacatay.
When the stones were hot enough for the water to sizzle on contact, Mr. Guadalupe orchestrated the layering of ingredients, starting with the potatoes, which cook at the hottest temperature, and ending with the humitas and herbs.
Once the banana leaves and earth were draped over the top and the cross was planted, Mr. Guadalupe relaxed. When he was 13, his father once forgot to place the cross – which is supposed to keep the devil from interfering with the cooking – and all the food came out raw.
“You can’t fix it,” Mr. Guadalupe said. “It’s ruined.”
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