Chicha – Corn Beer

Funny thing about Tiko. Has always, no person spared, watched, guarded, slept near, every airbnb guest I’ve ever had here. In one year, he has never skipped a person, sleeping on the yoga platform, keeping watch over the valley while the guests sleep in their cacoons – the hanging tents. Or sleeping out on the porch in front of the cottage, or guarding the guests who sleep in the gazebo. Or laying down in the grass next to your tent.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Well, these last ten days he has not guarded the person, but guarded me, instead, sleeping in the house near to my bedroom door, or by his doghouse outside my bedroom window. Perhaps he senses that I, too, have stayed away from this guest as much as possible. Or maybe he knows even better than I. (I also have my cell and my machete on my nightstand, so don’t worry.)


Recipe of the Day – Chicha

2 pounds fresh corn, cut from about 6 ears

2 1/4 gallons water

2 lbs. panela, or other raw sugar, such as tapa de dulce or piloncillo

1 ou. freshly grated ginger

1 T. fresh lime zest

Coarsely chop the corn, then transfer to a large stockpot and add the water. Bring to a boil over medium heat and add the sugar, stirring to dissolve. Simmer for 30 minutes, then cover and chill to room temperature by setting the pot in an ice water bath. Pour the corn mixture through a strainer or cheesecloth into a large jar.,Add the ginger and lime zest, and stir. Cover with a cloth or paper towel and set aside to ferment 1 to 3 days or longer, depending on taste.

Options: cinnamon, coriander, berries and jalapeños, added at the end of the boil. Beer or bread yeast added after chilling can provide a quicker fermentation and a cleaner, drier drink.

Word of the Day – chicha – corn beer

Tip of the Day – Don’t drink too much! But a little fermented food daily is so good for your stomach, killing the bad bacteria. For a more authentic chicha de muko, hang the shucked corn ears out to dry for a few days, then remove the kernels. Grind the corn to produce a coarse flour. Chew in small mouthfuls to moisten with saliva, and form it into small cakes. Dry them in the sun before throwing them in the brewpot.

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