Aloja de Chaucha

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Alojas are a category of fermented drinks made in northwestern Argentina believed to date back to pre-Hispanic times. Aloja of chaucha is an indigenous alcoholic drink made from carob fruit (Prosopisalbaor prosopisnigra). The preparation process involves rudimentary crushing of ripe carob chauchas (carob beans), especially white ones, in a mortar. This is then is mixed with water and placed in a container to ferment, left in a dark place for about four days. During this time, a sufficient amount of ethyl is generated to prepare a very pleasant tasting drink to be consumed at any time or occasion. The alcohol content will increase the longer the product is left to ferment. It is advised to leave the mixture to ferment for longer than two weeks, which often makes it turn orange. The aloja is a drink with a long tradition in the southern Andes. It is a traditional drink in northwest Argentina and in the Chaco region of Argentina, where carob trees abound. The drink plays a central role in the Fiesta of the Chiqui, a community ceremony held to ward off bad luck in different villages in the provinces of La Rioja and Catamarca. In some provinces, it is still customary to drink the cold carob alojas, but a lack of familiarity with the beverage by younger generations has led to a marked decrease in its consumption. Aloja of chaucha is not generally found for commercial sale, but it can be found in some kiosks in the area for tourism purposes. Production is very low, as the product is entirely handmade without the addition of preservatives or other additives. It is more often made for home consumption among family and friends, or very limited regional sales.

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La Rioja

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Distilled and fermented beverages

Indigenous community:Wichi