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A Culinary Celebration of Women’s History Month Series: Peru

Peruvian Olluquito con Charqui, recipe below

In the Indigenous societies of the Andes, women planted and harvested the fields and prepared the food. Men hunted animals and raised like stock including alpaca and llama. The women would slaughter the animals and prepare it for eating. Pre-Columbian Inca women developed dishes using a cured, salted, and dehydrated meat they called charqui. The English word Jerky comes from the Andean word charqui. The women would salt cure the meat and dry it in the hot sun and freezing cold for about a month and thereby increasing its longevity. In pre-Colombian Africa, Mande women made jerked salted and dried meat in the sun in a similar way. From the Jerked meat Andean women made a soup called Olluquito con charqui made with ollucos (a yellow Andean tuber), traditionally women used slices of jerked alpaca and llama, but today its more often made with jerked beef, and served with rice.

Olluquito con Charqui Recipe

4 ysp oil
1 tsp cayenne pepper
¼ kg “charqui” or jerked meat/vegan substitute
1 kg ollucos chopped in fine strips
½ cup onion
Chopped parsley
2 garlic cloves
Salt and pepper
ground chilly


Shred and fry pre-soaked/hydrated Charqui. After browned, remove, and in the same oil fry onions, garlic, chilly and cayenne pepper. Add ollucos (soaked for 1 hour with salt). Cover the pot and cook at low heat. Sprinkle with parsley. Serve with white rice. Makes eight servings

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