Ecuadorian food: Chicha (Saliva-Fermented Beverage)
Whether you have already heard about this traditional native Andean beverage from Ecuador or not, today´s blog post is about this chew-and-spit beverage from the Amazon Rainforest of the country.
Chicha is one of the most well-known beverages in the country, and it is commonly made with corn or yuca.
My aim through this post is to share with you one of the traditional beverages of some of our indigenous groups in Ecuador and it may be interesting for you to learn that it is made with saliva in our indigenous communities.
How it’s prepared
Chicha is traditionally made with jora corn – a type of corn from the highland region of the country – and sometimes made with yuca. This traditional indigenous beverage is made through a process that includes chewing the corn, then spitting the blend into water, and letting it ferment for a few weeks. The recipes I found mention that some additional ingredients include fruits, root vegetables, and cane sugar.
The traditional Chicha from the Amazon rainforest is made with yuca and is commonly used as a welcome drink.
Some prefer to drink it fresh, though most places will offer it fermented, which makes it an alcoholic beverage.
According to some researchers, this beverage was a way to separate social classes 300 years ago, and only those in the high social classes could afford to drink and serve it.
How and where to drink it
My recommendation is for you to actually book a trip and visit one of our indigenous groups in the Amazon Rainforest. You will enjoy a unique and fascinating experience, with some of our friendly indigenous communities who have been able to conserve their traditions, and show us some of their life and history.
In addition, I want to share that while I was writing this blog post I found out that there are several varieties of chicha in Latin America. They are not the same, but they have some similarities.
In Panama chicha means fruit drink, in El Salvador, it refers to an alcoholic drink made with maize, in Colombia it is also an alcoholic drink made with different ingredients, and in addition, they may add cannabis, coca leaf, and other similar substances.
Have you tasted other exciting dishes while visiting Ecuador or South America?
Let me know about it.
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