Oropesa Chuta Bread

Ark of taste
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Oropesa is a small town located in the department of Cusco in the southern sierra of Peru. It is located at an altitude of 3,110 metres above sea level and is known in the rest of the region for Pan Chuta.
Before the production of wheat bread, oven baked products were made from fermented corn in the pre-Colombian era. With the introduction of wheat in the 16th century, bread was also made with this product.
The Pan Chuta from Oropesa is different from other bread in three ways: the dough, the shape and above all its symbolic-religious importance.
Apart from wheat, the dough contains sugar that favours fermentation, lard and spices such as cinnamon and anise. The bread is circular and flattened with surface decorations. The inhabitants of Oropesa consider the water used to be the essential ingredient. This is collected directly from Apu Pachatusan, a mountainous range located near the city that reaches 4,200 metres in height. For the Incas this mountain is one of the most important gods and its name in the Quechua language means ""he who supports the earth"".
After fermentation, the bread is cooked inside an oven made with mud and straw. The product has a spongy consistency and a very spicy yet slightly sweet taste.
Quite unique is the tradition of blessing the freshly baked Pan Chuta bread rolls. This dates back to colonial times and was in honour of the patron saint of the city, the Virgin of Carmen and her baby.
The production of Pan Chuta is one of the main activities of the area and involves every member of the family. The youngest are responsible for the fermentation of the dough whilst the men knead the bread. The decoration is undertaken by the women. The unbaked bread is transported to the ovens in the city of Oropesa.
Production takes place all year round, apart from days of mourning. The inhabitants of Orpesa in fact believe that the spirit of the dead person prevents the bread from fermenting correctly.
This bread represents an interesting cross-contamination between the Andean and Spanish cultures, as well as an example of the preservation of local customs and traditions. The main risk to Pan Chupla is that the ever-increasing demand for the product will cause the original method to disappear (particularly the fermentation process) along with its religious significance.

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Production area:Distrito de Oropesa, Quispicanchi Province

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Bread and baked goods

Nominated by:Dauro Mattia Zocchi