Corn like potatoes or quinoa, played in the past (pre-Inca and Inca culture) and still plays an important role in Peruvian daily life. What combines corn and beer? It turns out that quite a lot. Corn in general is a “hero” of many typical Peruvian dishes. But not only! It is also a very important ingredient of the very popular Peruvian beverages called chicha.
Two kind of chicha: chicha de jora and chicha morada!
Chicha is a general word and you need to be aware, that it means two kinds of beverages: alcoholic and non-alcoholic one.
Alcoholic beverage chicha is prepared with fermented yellow corn and is called chicha de jora. Non-alcoholic chicha is prepared with purple corn and is called chicha morada.
About chicha morada I will tell some words in other article. Now I would like to write about chicha de jora popular Peruvian corn beer.
Chicha de jora is prepared from a specific kind of yellow corn (maize jora). This beverage is famous first of all in the Andes. Chicha de jora was also very well known in the Incas empire where was used for ritual purposes and consumed during religious festivals.
Chicha de jora is prepared in the fermentation process, which usually takes some days. It is one of the cheapest and most popular beverages. For less than 0,5 $ you can order 0.5 liter of that corn beer.
It is alcoholic drink, but not as strong as for example European beer. It contains quite small amount of alcohol, approximately 1–3% abv. Chicha de jora is quite tasty and refreshing. But be careful, if you will drink too much, you can become drunk.
Additional properties of chicha de jora?
Andeans people say, that corn chicha drunk regularly adds strength and strengthens the body. I cannot confirm this, because I simply do not taste this beverage very often, but if all locals say about these additional benefits from drinking corn chicha, there is no reason not to believe them.
I wonder if we can also assign the same properties in European beer? For me the only one know effect of normal beer the one connected with co-called “belly beer”, what rather has nothing in common with the strength and strengthening.
It is also being researched as an anti-inflammatory agent on the prostate.
Where you can taste Peruvian chicha de jora?
You can taste corn beer chicha on the south of Peru. It is sold in every small town, village and the residential neighborhoods of the larger cities. Usually chica de jora is sold in so-called “chicherias” – which can be a not used room of the house or a kitchen.
The hallmark of this corn liquor is a piece of plastic bag or flag (usually red or blue) hanging on a stick, which extends in a characteristic way from the fence (if there is any fence) hanging over the road or from the opened door.
When you will see the ribbons, flags or plastic bags on the stick, you can be sure that this is the place with chicha de jora. On the pictures below you can see a classic “sticks” with the plastic bags on the top, in red and blue.
If the stick with the plastic bag disappears, it is a signal that corn beer disappeared too :-). Removal of the sticks with plastic bags or flags after when the beverage is sold is a very good idea. Thanks to that, the customers of chicha de jora will have clear situation about the availability of their favorite drink.