Lately I have been describing the traditional breakfasts I had during my nine week stay Cuzco’s Sacred Valley. After a few weeks helping out at the Coffee Tree restaurant café, where breakfast mostly consisted of a delicious soup, I had a momentary lapse of Goldilocks syndrome. Nothing to do with a longing to invade a house of bears and apparently there are bears to be found in the wilds of Peru, but more it was to do with a withdrawal from my daily portion of porridge.
Porridge may well have been one of the ‘good mood foods’ that kept me on the straight and narrow of life’s rough and tumble, at least it has earned that reputation. I had been at least 3 weeks without a daily dose of porridge so it was time to speak up, in Spanish of course.
So one morning early in the Coffee Tree I asked if it was possible for me not to have the normal breakfast but to have instead a bowl of quinoa porridge. Quinoa is a local grain and listed as a super-food nowadays for its high nutrient content. Usually the porridge is served with some stewed apple and cinnamon. I wondered if my request had been really understood as I was still getting to grips with my sentence integration. But nearer to the time of breakfast for the workers my name was called from the kitchen and a large bowl of Quinoa porridge was pushed through the hatch window.
With great delight I sat down preparing to eat and wondering why the others were not ready yet for their meal. Eventually their soups arrived and they gathered round the table. I had almost finished my porridge. But just as I was finished a large bowl of soup was place before me. ‘What is this?’ I asked with much surprise. ‘Desayuno / Breakfast!’ was the reply. ‘For me?’…’Siiii!’ So my good efforts to explain myself were partly in vain. I had to make some effort to eat my soup as it was not so polite to refuse that which had been made especially. But it was the last time I asked for porridge during my Coffee Tree work-out. It makes me smile when I think of it now.
So the moral of the story is that I could survive without a daily dose of porridge, at least in this environment, and I fitted in very well with the flow of Peruvian life in the little town of Ollantaytambo.
©Caroline Cunningham Author of Wild Star Landing Blog
An Irish Woman’s journey living in the little town of Ollantaytambo, in Peru’s Sacred Valley, Cuzco Region.