When talking about Chala, we are talking about sea, fishermen sailing the ocean, or small beach food stalls selling the catch of the day.
That´s the meaning of the first dish of our menu at “A taste of PERú” – Winter Sessions, Chef Saravia´s particular tribute to Peruvian coastal cuisine.
Japanese scallop ceviche w/drops of coriander yogurt.
Ceviche is the wide-spread word in Peruvian Gastronomy. A signature dish that hides lots of myths and stories.
The first legend is about its creation, in fact, we know that the old Peruvians used to eat raw fish. For the pre-Incas cultures raw fish was part of their diet, seasoned with sea salt and ají (Peruvian chili). Sour oranges or other sour fruits were used to gently cook the fish. The Spanish contribution to the dish was the lemon, and at that time the first written recipe of ceviche was created.
Another legend tells that when English sailors arrived to the coast of Peru, they saw native Peruvians eating small pieces of raw fresh fish. They called it “Sea beach” pronounced by natives as “seviche”.
Besides all this exiting myths and legends there is also the big debate about the spelling of this delicious plate, “cebiche”, “seviche”, “ceviche”, being all of them accepted.
Cristal Bay prawn tiradito dressed w/ rocoto and green oil
A favorite ceviche twist is known as “tiradito”, called this way because chefs use thin slices of fish (“tiras” in Spanish) to present it, but without onions.
Rocoto is a South American chili pepper. It takes its name from the Quechua word rucutu. The colors of Rocoto vary from green to red and ranges in heat from medium to very hot, depending on the weather.
For Peruvians, Rocoto as many other chilies, is part of every meal, providing the spicy touch.
It is believed that the term Anticucho comes from the Quechua word antikuchu (anti: Andes and kuchu: ‘court’) or anti-uchu (uchu ‘porridge, mix’). In spite of this uncertain etymology, what is sure is that it comes from the Andes.
Traditional Anticucho consist of small pieces of grilled skewered meat being the most popular made of beef heart. This meat is marinated in red vinegar, garlic, annatto seeds and some spices. The European ingredients like garlic were added when the Spanish Conquerors arrived in Peru.
Chala is a trip to Peruvian ancient cuisine to immerse yourself in new textures and flavours.
If you want to taste this delightful menu and learn more about the history of dishes and ingredients, don´t miss this out.