The Association of Spanish Language Academies (Asale) promotes the “Pan-Hispanic Dictionary of Gastronomy”, the first results of which should be presented at the IX International Congress of the Spanish Language, which will be held in March 2023 in Arequipa (Peru).
It will include dishes, products and culinary techniques, announced the coordinator of the congress, the Peruvian poet Alonso Ruiz Rosas, at the headquarters of the Cervantes Institute in Madrid, during an act on the richness of gastronomic language through the picadoras (houses of food).
They are indigenous words like chicha – a fermented drink which in the case of Arequipa is based on black corn or güiñapo -, originating first from the chicherías and then from the thepicantes, since the first “picantitos” (spicy appetizers) were added to the offer. ) to encourage drinking, and then dishes like chupes (a soup of chicken, lamb, beef or shrimp with potatoes and vegetables) and stews.
The chicherías appeared in the sixteenth century, when the cities founded after the Spanish conquest began to flourish, and became “piccanterías” from the nineteenth century.
They are “a culinary institution in Peru and in particular in Arequipa”, where they are recognized for “spaces of magnificent food and popular tradition, of sociability and democracy”, underlined Ruiz Rosas.
Always in the hands of the women, they kept a traditional recipe book prepared “without any electrical device, slowly with wood” and with the “artisan blender” which is the batán, a kind of volcanic stone mortar, explained the spicy Mónica Huerta.
In addition to preserving the culinary tradition, picadors retain an extensive vocabulary of Quechua, Aymara and, to a lesser extent, other native languages, whose voices are part of the “lonco” or Chacarero language of the rural environment.
Words like “ocopa”, which defines a chili, onion, huacatay, peanut or walnut sauce; “llatán”, a spicy rocoto sauce; “sarza”, a garnish of onion, tomato, chilli, vinegar and oil with which to accompany the spicy zamponi, or “jayarí”, a spicy snack, are some of those included in the dictionary. According to Carmen Nogero, Cervantes general secretary, gastronomy is a “powerful tool for language teaching”, as well as a “succulent international cover letter”.