Chicha de maní
Chicha de manì is a drink of Inca origin typical of the area of Junin and Ancash in the Andes. It is obtained from the fermentation of a mixture of water, maiz blanco and manì (Arachis hipogaea), a leguminous plant belonging to the Fabaceae and native of the Andes.
Archaeological finds in the Nanchoc valley in the Cajamarca department, dating back to 7000-6000 b.C., show that manì was grown and consumed at the time. Even today, manì has an important role in the diet and medicine of the Andes, thanks to its nutritional properties (proteins, fats and vitamins) and its ability to cure blood and cardiovascular diseases.
Chicha de manì is prepared all year, even if the months after the harvest are the best time to make it. The chicha preparation process begins by boiling a mixture of water, maiz blanco and ground manì in earthenware containers placed on a wood fire. The mixture is then left to rest, filtered and left to ferment for a period of time that varies based on the temperature and the taste of the person who is making the drink.
In ancient times, it had a fundamental role in socialization. At the time of the Incas, it was common to start a conversation with a glass of chicha de manì. The reduced consumption and the limited knowledge on the historical relevance of this drink threaten the know-how and the recipe required for its preparation.