The spicy dishes of Arequipa (Peru), with chicha de guiñapo or chupes, and the guisanderas of Asturias (Spain) with meat in a pot or roulade, were presented this Monday at the FéminAs congress as examples of the struggle to defend the culinary legacies of their territories, preventing globalization from destroying them.
The members of the Picantera Society of Arequipa, which this year celebrates its 10th anniversary, and the Club Guisanderas of Asturias (Northern Spain), which is just turning 25, participated in the II International Congress of Gastronomy, Women and Rural Environment which is taking place in the Asturian city of Cangas del Narcea, where tomorrow the former will receive the 2nd Guardians of Tradition Award for this work.
Peruvian women, dressed in the typical dress of spicy women (wide-brimmed hat, red and white Vichy plaid apron, white blouse and burgundy skirt), and Asturian women, with their chef’s jackets, are exponents of two cooking styles different people who share a passion for traditional recipes, of humble origins, which they defend day by day with their work and their organizations.
Arequipa’s Thepicanterías, seeking inclusion as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity after being recognized as a Cultural Heritage of the Nation since 2014, are trattorias that have evolved from chicherías, chicha de guiñapo outlets (a kind of black corn beer ), who served their customers picantitos (spicy appetizers) to increase the drink’s consumption.
Always in the hands of women, the culinary offer was advancing and chupes were added – “a powerful soup of chicken, lamb, beef or shrimp with potatoes and vegetables of which Arequipa has one for every day of the week”, explains Mónica Hidalgo to EFE. , of La Nueva Palomino, and stews, all cooked “without any electrical device, slowly on the wood” and with the “artisan blender” which is the batán, a kind of volcanic stone mortar.
Originally, these companies gave economic independence to women who could thus support their families, so that “they were rejected by society”, which has changed over time.
Those who continue today with the legacy of their ancestors could not feel more proud to keep alive the picadors, who have survived “wars and revolutions” but almost destroyed by contemporary cuisine and globalization.
With the traditional toast to the cry of “up to the portals!”, Showing the photographs of their predecessors and with a standing ovation they greeted an audience devoted to their cause.
Territorial identity and pride
On another continent, Asturian guisanderas have been fighting for 25 years to keep local stews and products, a sign of a territorial identity that they proudly defend.
Those who attended this Monday in FéminAs are the guardians of the gastronomy of southwestern Asturias, where there is no trace of bean or cider stew and the cabbage pot, the meat roll (stuffed with a tortilla of ham and peppers and dipped in sauce) triumph. , stuffed cabbage, stewed tongue or chosco, cured and smoked pork sausage, which is eaten as a cured meat, and fresh for stews.
Angela Pérez, of Casa Emburria (Tineo), was one of the founders of the Club de Guisanderas and tells EFE that every year they integrate two new members, perhaps because after the techno-emotional cuisine “what was once again appreciated”.
It was then that they felt the threat of traditional Asturian cuisine and got organized. “We were afraid and we fought, we fought and we fought, and now we are very happy because he is in a good moment and a good future awaits him, thanks to the fact that there is a generational change,” he says.
The Guisanderas Club is made up of women only: “There aren’t many men who are dedicated to traditional cuisine in this area. There are very good cooks, sure, but stews are women’s things.”