You don’t have to be so long in Peru and get to introduce to our "cancha”.
You will find it in almost all restaurants while waiting for your food to be served, there’s no Cebicheria (how we called the restaurants that prepared the popular dish Cebiche) that doesn’t offer Cancha, because it is the perfect complement to a juicy good cebiche.
Cancha is our snack, some farmers and peasants always carry this snack and some firm cheese with them to have for lunch, especially when traveling.
To make cancha, lard or oil is first heated in a clay or metal pot (according to Maria Baez Kijac in The South American Table, the best cancha is made with leftover lard from frying pork). Once the oil is hot, the dried corn is added and stirred constantly until it turns a golden brown. The corn is then transferred to another pot or bowl and sprinkled with salt.
The cancha is then typically served warm or at room temperature, but can be eaten cold up to a few days after preparation, how we already mentioned, It was and is a great way food source during long journeys.
It has been eaten in Peru for centuries - Inca Garcilaso de la Vega mentions “cancha” in his Comentarios Reales de los Incas- 1609. The word itself comes from Quechua, the second most spoken language in Peru, where it is written as “camcha or kancha”. In Ecuador and Bolivia, cancha is more commonly referred to as tostado or tostado de maíz (toasted corn).
Here a picture of some of our clients at the Colca valley, helping as to prepare Canchita.