Find out which special utensils you’ll need on hand during cooking.
The Roo Sisters

3 May 2013 - 10:21 AM  UPDATED 6 Sep 2013 - 9:31 AM


From the Quecha words pacha and manca meaning “earthen pot”, this is both a cooking method and a reference to the feast prepared in the ground oven, similar to a traditional Maori hangi. For centuries, Peruvians have given thanks to the gods for their abundant natural resources by cooking, eating and celebrating, and this feast dedicated to Mother Earth is a good example of the spiritual symbolism of Andean food. Whole root vegetables and meat such as alpaca, lamb, pork, chicken or guinea pig are cooked in an earth oven over hot stones, covered with large handfuls of herb branches and earth, for up to 5 hours, then enjoyed as part of a communal gathering. Hours of cooking underground results in “the taste of God”, says Peruvian Sydneysider Carlos Barriga.