Acuña de manì

Ark of taste
Back to the archive >

It is a sweet snack made with two main ingredients: sugar and manì, that is peanuts.
There are various types that differ in terms of the type of peanut and sugar used. The sweet dates back to colonial times and very similar to the brittle that is found on the Iberian Peninsula.
In the department of Piura a variety of acuña is made using chanchaca, or coarse sugar, that is obtained from squeezing cane sugar and then reducing the juice, and a variety of local peanut (manì criollo).
The canchacha is mixed with water and lemon juice then this liquid is warmed on the fire until a dense and dark caramel is formed. When ready it is combined with diced peanuts and poured into rectangular moulds. The moulds vary in size, but are all rather large. When the mix is cooled it is cut into small 10 cm-long bars. The bars are then wrapped in paper and sold.
Traditional acuna de manì is still found at the markets in the city of Piura and neighbouring areas. This sweet is traditionally sold only during celebrations and for religious occasions.
There are various 19th and 20th century literary references to the consumption of this sweet. For example, the Peruvian writer Enrique López Albújar (Chiclayo 1872-Lima 1966) in a novella set in the colonial times, describes is as classically consumed during the Corpus Christi religious celebration. The Spanish historian Esteban Puig also notes it in his work titled Breve diccionario folklórico de piuranismos, mentioning popular songs that feature this product.
It is increasingly difficult to find this sweet as there are fewer committed to its traditional preparation using local peanuts. This variety was very common until a few years ago but has been replaced with peanuts often imported from other South American countries. Acuña is increasingly produced with more economical products that are less healthy than the canchaca and contain conservatives.

Back to the archive >




Other info


Cakes, pastries and sweets

Nominated by:Dauro Mattia Zocchi, Felimon Mechato Ipanaque