jueves, enero 24, 2008

Historia de la Gastronomía Peruana - El Taki o Gran Banquete Inca



Mandamos que ninguna persona que no derrame el maíz ni otras comidas ni papas ni lo monden la cáscara, porque si tuviese entendimiento llorarían cuando le monda. Y así no le monden, so pena que será castigado…

Huamán Poma de Ayala (Las Ordenanzas de los Incas)

El taki era el extraordinario banquete Inca que duraba un mes, en una fiesta desbordante de vida en el que se bebía y comía los más finos manjares.

La mesa del Inca, puesta sobre finísimos mantos bordados, ostentaba los más refinados manjares del reino del Perú o Pirua, palabra que significa el Depósito de Todas la Cosas.

El Inca, sentado en sus andas de oro, era el corifeo de la alegría y del desborde sensual en el que "cuanto más se bebía, más señor se era". La música y los bailes llenaban el ambiente de exuberante júbilo, mientras se sellaban pactos o acuerdos bélicos o de paz.

La chicha o azua, era la principal protagonista de estos banquetes. Esta bebida, de fabricación casera, la había de variadas calidades.

"Las doncellas encerradas por el Inca, que los españoles llamaron mamaconas monjas y que se dedicaban al culto, entre otras cosas aprendían a tejer y broslar (bordar), a hacer vinos preciosos y manjares delicados", se relata en la Relación de las Costumbres Antiguas, de un jesuita anónimo.

El beber constituía un ceremonial que se iniciaba con la tinka, o pago a la tierra, que consistía en verter unas gotas al suelo y luego todos bebían de una sola vasija o anccosani.

"La comida, así como todo cuanto rodeaba al antiguo peruano, era sentida a modo de algo viviente", manifiesta Arturo Jiménez Borja.

Para los antiguos peruanos no había diferencias entre lo material y espiritual. El acto de comer y beber era de índole religiosa y cada alimento estaba dotado de sentimientos humanos. Una manifestación de estas creencias era la fiesta de las paltas, llamada acaymita, que duraba seis días con sus noches y consistía en llevar jóvenes y muchachas a practicar el amor en un campo sembrado de estos productos, porque pensaban los antiguos peruanos que este acto realizado entre vegetales y frutales beneficiaba su maduración.

Carnes de taruca o venado andino; alpacas, vicuñas, patos o ñuñumas; perdices o yutu; la pava aliblanca o aruncha; había una gallina peruana o wallpa. Peces de mar llevados frescos al Cusco por los chasquis que recorrían un camino especial para este fin. El pez dorado de agua dulce o chaquechallua que era el preferido del Inca, así como langostas y langostinos, conchas y pulpos, como también camarones peruanos o yukra. Enormes cangrejos de los manglares que llamaban apanqoray eran preparados con hierbas o yuyus, ajíes o uchus macerados en jugo de frutas o vinagre de chicha llamado mama azua. Se condimentaba con frutos de molle o pimienta rosada, mutuy o alcaparras de indias, el sacha anís y el sacha culantro o marancera entre muchísimos otros condimentos.

Se hicieron exquisitas preparaciones con diferentes técnicas culinarias. El soasado con piedras o watia; la pachamanca u olla de tierra; la kanka o asado de carne en una sola pieza; el pungano o barbacoa. El ahumado de carnes o pescados; la pullanka o guiso de carne; los chupis o sopas densas, las que se acompañaban con picantes o uchus diversos. Los rokros o locros de ají y papa o de chuño con verduras y charqui, o de zapallo llamado kalpara o tukuru; la kalapurka o carapulca; el kachi-kachi hecho con hueveras de pescado; el rachi-rachi con mondongo y el puca uchu de papas amarillas.

Las humitas de maíz envueltas en pancas; el pan o ttanta; las tortillas de quinua llamadas hupa; el sara ttanta o pan de maíz; la arepa o pan de maíz con levadura llamada puchco, acompañaban esas viandas, así como numerosas salsas como la kuta y la ukuma, la salsas de ají; la okopa de ají con amuka o camarón seco, maní y huacatay; la llatán de ají y la amuka, entre otras.

Estas elaboradas prácticas culinarias requerían de utensilios o huaccunaccuna de diversas formas y tamaños; la chuana o jarrita; raqui macan o jarra grande. Hinchu era la vasija de boca ancha; la manca era la olla común. Los chamillico eran ollas para hacer guisos. Caucachi o hatun manca era una olla grande; sañu una copa; chimpu o copón. Los keros eran vasos de madera o de plata y oro. Los alimentos se servían en la chua o tazón hondo; la illa era un plato con mango. Se utilizaban cucharas llamadas huislla, que tenían diversos tamaños, afirma Santiago Antúnez de Mayolo.

Completaban su menú un sinnúmero de frutas: fresas, chirimoyas, lúcumas, pacaes, pepinos, ciruelas, piñas, papayas, plátanos, cajú, guanábana, nogales, guayabas, granadilla, maní, tumbo, cacao, entre otros, y para endulzar utilizaron la miel de abejas o tocto, la miel de algarrobo y de molle y la chancaca de la corteza tierna del maguey.

Su marcado sibaritismo se manifiesta en una serie de voces: cuntoni, que era el aroma de las comidas sazonadas y de las frutas maduras; huptasca, eran las comidas adobadas; paru, era lo tostado y sazonado; micuycuna, era lo bien sabroso, entre otras muchísimas manifestaciones de la culinaria de este magnifico pueblo que vivió con esplendor y que nos ha dejado como legado la extraordinaria COCINA PERUANA de nuestros días.


Gloria Hinostroza


24/012008

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