If you have not yet visited the Sacred Valley of the Incas in Peru, I strongly recommend this and please do it quickly as the area is in a continuous metamorphosis.

This Sacred Valley is a place of colorful pilgrimage, people come and go, others in love with the place become part of it! Anyway it’s a mystical place like Harry Potter’s land where the locals and pilgrims share the same energy and space .

Dad when he visited us called them gypsies as often as he could. He has nothing with the Gypsies, but he does not stand the people who do not paint their fences, who live in unfinished houses and who don’t wear slippers!

Well, we have this national writer, Creanga is his name, who amazingly wrote about his childhood and in the same way I remember my childhood and this makes me smile!

I was  born in the center of Bucharest and it was impossible not to have gypsy friends. I remember my dad with his “culo” ( shitty face) face when he found me in the corner of the street sharing a bottle of Cola and a bag of sunflower seeds with 10 little black friends. His soul was melting in 1’s and 0’s like in the “Matrix” movie, his engineer’s mind seeing the 0 inside the 1, but not the darker shades of skin.

He would have liked that I “lost” my time with the son of I don’t know whom with great marks at the national olympics tests and that I did not trash my trainers in the corner of the street with the “seed breakers”!

Let’s return to our previous subject, I don’t want  to talk about Cola and  sunflower seeds, but about “chicha”, the sacred drink of the Incas, the drink that is believed to give magic powers to the one who drinks it.

I lived more than a year with these people, I studied, analyzed and observed and believe me this is a subject to debate. The first thing I noticed landing in the Sacred Valley after tens of hours of plane flight was the colorful plastic bag wrapped in the top of a stick over the doors of some houses.

Well, let’s say this is the sign that you discovered a “chicheria”, a place where chicha is sold, the Peruvian national drink, a slightly alcoholic drink, fermented or not, with a sweet-sour taste, which can be made from corn, cereals, fruits, quinoa, yuca or certain palm species.

In the Sacred Valley we only drank  chicha made of maize including purple one, quinoa and fruit. The children were not mad about this, but in time “chicha morada” (made from purple corn and pineapple peels) became their favorite drink.

Chicha is often used as a ritual during religious ceremonies, the recipient will first pour a part of the foamy part at the top on the ground with the phrase “Pachamama, santa tierra” (Pachamama is Quechua for “Earth Mother”).

In  the communities of the high Pisac, including Chawaitiry (we have told you about our extended family, link here) chicha is used in pilgrimages with llamas, where llamas receive chicha to drink before being sacrificed or to give them strength to continue the journey or during Carnivals, being part of  their dance choreography.

Another aspect would be that, although alcoholic beverages are banned during the people go for voting, chicha consumption is not prohibited! So the weekend in which everyone is voting, everybody is drunk including women! In Peru, it is obligatory to go to vote, if you do not go you receive a fine!

This chicha keeps the Peruvian healthy because it contains vitamins, minerals and good bacteria, chicha morada helps those with prostate problems or high blood pressure.

It is a miracle that maintains the balance of good moods through low levels of alcohol, everybody drink this: parents, children, llamas, priests and Pachamama. I’m not saying it tastes good because it’s doesn’t, but after a while, you get used to it!

Remember the story of the “Nai” and the Peruvian Zamponia?

I will share the truth with you!

Our ancestors communicated to the common consciousness!! That’s sure! The question is whether they made it consciously or not!

The Nai, the Romanian national instrument is very similar to Zamponia Peruana. We have cultures evolving in different times and spaces but with many common points.

So searching information about chicha brought into the light our braga (boza in the Slavic and Turkish languages) which is a sweet, sweet-sour drink, obtained by boiling water with milled millet. It was the drink of Nomads from Central Asia, registered since the 10th century, which then arrived in Anatolia and from there spread, including in the Balkans.

So their chicha is kind of our braga!

I chose to select two recipes, one chicha and one Braga, to make with the children and discuss the outcome.

Yes, we are working on a vlog, cheap as a braga (pure untranslatable Romanian expression) soon!


Daca nu ati vizitat inca Valea Sacra a Incasilor in Peru, recomand cu caldura sa o faceti si repede intrucat zona se afla intr-o metamorfoza continua. Valea asta sacra e un loc de pelerinaj plin de culoare, oamenii vin si pleaca, altii indragostiti de loc ajung sa devina parte din el,  oricum e un loc mistic desprins parca din Harry Potter in care localnicii si pelerinii impart impreuna aceeasi energie si acelasi spatiu.

Tata cand ne-a vizitat din tigani nu i-a scos. Nu are nimic cu tiganii, dar nu suporta oamenii care nu-si vopsesc gardurile, care locuiesc in case la rosu si care nu poarta papuci cand merg prin casa! Bine le zice Creanga in amintirile lui dar si eu cand imi amintesc de copilaria mea tare ma face sa-mi zambesc! Nascut in centrul Bucurestiului era imposibil sa nu ai prieteni tigani si-mi amintesc de tata cu fata lui de “culo”cand ma gasea in coltul strazii impartind o sticla de Cola si o punga de seminte cu 10 negri mititei. Parca i se scurgea sufletul in 1 si 0 ca in filmul Matrix. Mintea lui de inginer vedea 0-ul din 1 dar nu si nuantele inchise de piele. Si-apoi si-ar fi placut sa-mi “pierd” timpul cu fiul lui x si al lui Y ce veneau cu note mari la olimpiade si care nu-si toceau adidasii in coltul strazii cu “spargatorii”de seminte!

Ma rog, sa revenim la ale noastre, ca eu nu de Cola si seminte vreau sa va vorbesc azi, ci de chicha, bautura sacra a Incasilor, bautura asta despre care se crede ca da puteri magice celui ce-o bea.

Dupa un an si ceva de trait alaturi de oamenii astia, de studiat, analizat si observat asta-i chiar subiect de dezbatut. Primul lucru ce l-am observat aterizati in Valea Sacra dupa zeci de ore de zbor cu avionul a fost pungile colorate infasurate in varf de bat infipt deasupra usilor de la anumite case. Pai hai sa va zic, asta-i semnul ca ai dat de-o “chicherie”, adica un loc unde se vinde “chicha”, bautura nationala peruana, o bautura slab alcolizata, fermentata sau nu, cu gust dulce-acrisor, care poate fi facuta din porumb, cereale, fructe, quinoa, yuca sau anumite specii de palmier.

Noi in Valea Sacra am baut doar de porumb inclusiv din ala mov, quinoa si fructe. Copiii nu au fost innebuniti la inceput dupa ea dar cu timpul “chicha morada”(facuta din porumb mov si coji de ananas), a devenit bautura lor preferata.

Chicha este foarte des folosita ca si ritual in timpul ceremoniilor religioase, cum se varsa la noi un pic de vin rosu la morminte asa se varsa la ei direct pe pamant ca si ofranda pentru “Pachamama” ( Mama Pamant).

Ba mai mult va pot spune ca in comunitatile din partea inalta a Pisac-ului, inclusiv in Chawaitiry ca v-am tot povestit de familia noastra extinsa, chicha se foloseste in pelerinarile cu lame, ceremonial li se da lamelor sa bea chicha inainte sa fie sacrificate sau pentru a le da putere sa continue drumul. Mai e folosita si in timpul Carnavalului facand parte din coregrafia de dans. Alt aspect ar fi ca, desi bauturile alcolice sunt interzise pe perioada votului, consumul de chicha nu este interzis!

Asa ca week-endul in care se voteaza toti sunt beti ranga, inclusiv femeile si nu sunt de la bere ci de la chicha! In Peru, este obligatoriu sa mergi sa votezi, de nu o faci iti iei amenda, asa ca participarea la vot este maxima!

Chicha asta ii tine pe peruani sanatosi, intrucat contine vitamine, minerale si bacterii bune, chicha morada ajuta celor cu probleme de prostata sau tensiune ridicata.

Ce sa zic o minune ce mentine echilibrul unei bune dispozitii prin nivelul scazut de alcool, bauta de parinti, copii, lame, preoti si Pachamama. Nu spun ca e foarte gustoasa ca nu este, dar dupa un timp, te obisnuiesti cu ea!

Minunea minunilor nu este asta! Mai tineti minte de povestea cu naiul si zamponia Peruana?

Daca nu, o aveti doar in engleza din pacate, aici.

Oameni buni, va zic yo!

Ancestorii nostri comunicau la nivelul constiintei comune!! Asta-i cert! Intrebarea este daca o faceau constient sau nu!

Naiul, instrumentul national Romanesc este foarte asemanator cu Zamponia Peruana. Adica avem culturi ce-au evoluat in timp si spatiu diferit dar cu multe puncte comune.

Asa ca cu “chicha” in sus si-n jos dau de braga (boza in slava si turca ) care este o bautura racoritoare cu gust dulce-acrișor si se obține prin fierberea cu apă a meiului măcinat. Este băutura turcilor nomazi din Asia Centrală, consemnată începând din secolul X, care mai apoi a ajuns in Anatolia iar de acolo s-a răspândit, inclusiv în Balcani.

Deci chicha lor e  cam braga noastra!

M-am gandit astfel  sa selectez doua retete, una de chicha si una de Braga, pe care sa le fac cu copiii si sa vlogam despre rezultat.

Da, lucram la un vlog, ieftin ca braga, pe curand!

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