Chicha de Jora, beer from the Andes

Chicha de jora

You can buy jora in the market, but if you want to make it yourself, the process starts with the sprouting of the corn. Place corn in a container, cover with water and soak for 5 days. After that, drain it and spread over different kinds of leaves, well covered. A nice sun bath is what follows, in order to dry the corn and to let it concentrate the sugars which give it its characteristic flavor. Then you can roast and grind the corn. Quite a process!

Every region of the country adds its own flavor to the recipe. In the North, it is carob; in the Andes, quinoa, pink peppercorns, or potato starch; in the Amazon jungle, it is yucca.

Kero is the name of the glass where chicha is served. Picanterías, in Arequipa and Cusco, are eateries where chicha is the customary beverage, being the equivalent of a strong Andean beer. When these places have chicha ready, they place a small flag at the door to invite customers to come and enjoy freshly made chicha de jora.

This drink can be used as an ingredient in several dishes too, especially in stews and some rice dishes. In the US, you can find chicha de jora in some Latin American grocery stores, but if it’s not easy to find in your area substitute with white wine or light beer when using it for cooking. It will work, even though it´s not the same.

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Comments

  1. Duane nehring says:

    Didn’t see any recipe. Can anyone help?

Trackbacks

  1. […] we walked past places, indicated by the flying of a red plastic bag, that sold a beer, ‘Chicha de jora’, home made from corn that had a brownish tinge to it and looked as if it had been manufactured […]

  2. […] tunes on Andean pan flutes; vendors selling everything from flowers to friend pork sandwiches to “chicha de jora” line the parking lot of the cemetery; and family members drink liquor openly, offering their dead […]

  3. […] tunes on Andean pan flutes; vendors selling everything from flowers to friend pork sandwiches to“chicha de jora” line the parking lot of the cemetery; and family members drink liquor openly, offering their dead […]

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