(Lima) Beans and Delhi Cha(a)t

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

The November October Tradition

Been a while since I've been here but don't think I'm gone. Busy eating I guess :P Seriously, this past month was especially significative for Peruvians (for those who don't know yet, I'm from Peru). October is what we call "Purple Month" and it is the festivity of the "Lord of Miracles". The story behind this tradition is fascinating but it is the effect what leaves people speechless. During the month of October, thousands of Peruvians go to the Church in Nazarenas to have a glimpse and pray to the image of the Christ of Pachacamilla (an image which was painted by a Mulato back in a little town that later was destroyed by two earthquakes, none of which could bring down the wall where the image was). Three days are of the utmost importance, for it is here when a duplicate image is carried out of the church in procession. The number of people who follow this image is uncountable. An enormous trail of people dressed in purple habits follow this 2-ton image (carried by the brotherhood of the Lord of Miracles) for blocks.

But this is not the only October tradition for us Peruvians. Along with is comes the bullfights (frowned by many, loved by others), the day of criollan music (the typical music from Lima) and of course... food! Yes, this is a food blog. And so I bring you our typical irresistible October dessert: Turrón.

Yes, if there is a dish that immediately makes us think of all the October traditions, that is Turrón. It basically consists of a sort of very compact dessert, with lots of honey and color sprinkles on top. The secret to the taste of turron is an ingredient called anise.

Turrón is a little piece of engineering. The dough is made into a number of bars. A number of these bars are placed next to each other, making a base. You then pour some honey (we use an fruit called chancaca which is really sweet) on top of the bars, then you repeat this operation to make two more stories. You finish by coating thw top with a generous portion of honey and lots of color sprinkles. Here there are some little sugar shapes (stars, moons, hearts).

If you ever get the chance, try it. You won't regret it.



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