Ají negro is a fermented sauce and a traditional Peruvian condiment It’s made by indigenous women from the Huitoto and Bora communities in the Peruvian Amazon. It has probiotic qualities that are so powerful they’re said to extend the lifespans of the people who consume it. The condiment is also produced in parts of Brazil, but there, it’s known as tucupí negro. It’s widely known by top Lima chefs, but outside of South America, no one knows it.
Forgetting About About Ají Negro – the Peruvian Condiment
The reason why most people have never heard of ají negro is the ignorance and shame that surrounds indigenous Amazonian cuisine. Until only recently, people who would visit the village of Pucaurquillo were served canned tuna or spaghetti. Women who produce the black sauce were often ashamed of offering their own Peruvian traditions since the government spent years introducing European-influenced foods to the region.
However, when chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino, a top Peruvian chef, and owner of the Malabar and Ámaz restaurants in Lima, Peru, visited the village, he helped the women see the value of their cuisines and traditional foods. In fact, after tasting ají negro, Pedro helped the women produce it to sell it to restaurants.
How Ají Negro is Made
In terms of appearance, ají negro looks like a regular condiment. However, the process of making it is quite extensive. It starts by hacking at cassava roots using machetes and pulling up the thick, trunk-like tubers. It’s important to know whether the cassava is poisonous or not. In fact, boiler or cooked cassava can be toxic. There are specific ancient techniques that allow these women to safely ferment it and transform it.
The cassava is washed and peeled raw then soaked in water for a few days. Once the starch is removed from the sieved liquid, the broth is reduced for hours, and then it’s left to thicken for a few days.
If Poland isn’t already on your bucket list, then you should probably grab your pen and paper ASAP and write it right at the top. That’s because Poland is an incredible country that has so much to offer in terms of the attractions, the landscape, the architecture, the people, and, of course, the food. Yes, Polish food is famous across the globe for a reason, and even if you can’t get to Poland to immediately satisfy your craving, you can probably find a Polish restaurant nearby that will serve you one of these amazing dishes.
You probably don’t need us to tell you that cabbage is one of the most popular ingredients in Poland, and you just have to try these cabbage rolls. Gołąbki is made by rolling rice and minced pork shoulder in cabbage leaves, and these rolls are then covered with a delicious sauce.
If you’re the kind of person that loves a hearty stew, then you’ll love bigos. This is the ultimate comfort food that consists of any meat that the chef has in the kitchen, prunes, smoked sausage, sauerkraut, spices, and anything else that gets thrown in.
You may have heard of pierogies before, but have you ever tried one? Known as Russian dumplings, these things actually originate from Poland and are dumplings filled with all kinds of delicious fillings.
Everyone loves a cheesecake, right? Well, sernik is Poland’s answer to the cheesecake we all know and love. This baked cheesecake is normally made using a sweet curd, egg yolks, and ricotta, and it’s then often mixed with the likes of fruit peels or chocolate.
Traditionally eaten around the holiday season, the makowiec is a poppy-seed cake that’s filled with poppy seeds, honey, nuts, and then glazed with a stunning icing. Not only does it look beautiful, but it tastes incredible.
So, which dish from Poland will you try first?