Latin American gastronomy will have its pan-Hispanic dictionary

The Association of Spanish Language Academies (Asale) promotes the “Pan-Hispanic Dictionary of Gastronomy”, whose first fruits 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 on Monday 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 taverns (restaurants) arequipeñas.

They are indigenous voices like chicha -fermented drink which in the case of Arequipa is based on black corn or güiñapo-, originated first of the chicherías and then of thepicarías, since the “picantitos” (spicy appetizers) were first added to the offer to encourage consumption, and then dishes such as chupes (a soup of chicken, lamb, beef or shrimp with potatoes and vegetables) and stews.

Chicherías appeared in the 16th century, when the cities founded after the Spanish conquest began to flourish and they were converted into “piccanterías” from the 19th 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 women, they have kept an elaborate traditional recipe book “without any electrical device, slowly to the wood” and with the “artisanal blender” which is the batán, a kind of volcanic stone mortar, he 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, general secretary of Cervantes, gastronomy is a “powerful language teaching tool”as well as a “succulent international cover letter”.