This week, we have moved forward to Peru. As we round-out of trip to South America, we get to enjoy the flavors and variety of Peru – Specifically, how it would have fit into Inca Culture

Peru has a rich history of being home to multiple ancient cultures, which flourished pre-colonization. The earliest being the Chavin and Sechin, to the Paracas and the Saliner, which were precursors to the Nazca. The Nazca are often associated with the famous lines in the southern Peruvian desert, but their main investment to history is their rich culture associated with the desert, trade and ritual burials. You can learn more about the Nazca in a recent Brad’s Labs episode, where he explains the fall of their culture.

After the Nazca and other cultures (like the Wari), came the Inca, and that’s where we are focusing our recipe around. Inca culture is famous for its trade and influence on the region. The Incan culture did not last as long as the Nazca (Only about 100 years vs. 800 years), due to internal warfare and eventual conflict with the Spanish Invaders in 1532. However, during this point, they built massive cities and civilizations without currency, a system of writing and the use of the wheel. Nevertheless, we know from archaeological records, that their communication methods were completed with a knotted-string process and their extensive trading methods helped make them a powerful empire in a short time.

The types of ingredients that the Inca had included Maize, Amaranth, Choclo, Quinoa, specific species of Chili peppers, Beans, Tomatoes, Squash and Potatoes. Not to mention the wide-selection of fish and meats, from mussels to guinea pigs. This made this meal so much easier to put together, but we focused on ingredients that were mostly native to Peru, rather than using Incan-Trade goods.

That leads us to a stew of Potatoes, Beans, and Tomatoes with a dab of chili paste, served over fluffed Quinoa.


Meghan’s Review

4 0ut of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this recipe. I would have liked to add more Aji Panca Paste or it’s spicier sibling, Aji Amarillo – But, as it was, it was a very flavorful dish that was filling; especially in comparison to our other meals in South America.

Brad’s Review

5 0ut of 5 stars

I really enjoyed the meal. All the flavours blended together nicely. It was really filling, however. So if you make it, a little will go a long way.


I'm an IT Product Owner who enjoys playing video games, cooking and painting.

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  1. So simple, healthy and good. Never used aji panca before. Nice background flavor. Served this with a Peruvian chicken with aji Amarillo. Wonderful South American food! My dad loved the stew; he may have it for breakfast he said. ?

    1. I’m so glad you both enjoyed it! Honestly, we had talked about adding a poached duck egg to it, kind of like a hash stew – I think eating it for a breakfast is totally okay, meal times are a human construct anyways ^_^

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