Chili peppers, loches and ducks: these are the charms of the north.
Arroz con pato
There is archaeological evidence in ceremonial centers in northern Peru -such as the El Brujo archaeological complex in La Libertad- of the existance of duck since pre-Columbian times. It also appears in utilitarian ceramic motifs. In the north, they use this bird to prepare all kinds of dishes, from stews to cebiches. However, the most emblematic dish of northern cuisine is the Arroz con Pato (rice with duck), which has cilantro, chicha de jora and loche.
Seco de cabrito
Loche is a type of pumpkin that grows in a specific geographical area. Its name means “moon tear” in muchik language. Loche is cultivated in the valley of Lambayeque, especially, but it can be found in all the northern cuisine. It has the size of a medium papaya and has a rough shell. A mashed loche can be made with its pulp and stews can be seasoned with its outer crust. It has a charasteristic aroma and flavor that stands out in this dish, made with goat.
It is one of the tastiest and most popular casserole dishes in Lambayeque. The goat’s insides (or mondongo, as they are called in Peru) are used to prepare this stew that is similar to a dish of creole cuisine, the Cau Cau (made with milk, chicha de jora, peppermint and peppers).
This is a reinvention of a rural dish, the Panca de life, made by the Chiclayan chef Héctor Solís. The original versión consists of a life -a kind of small catfish- grilled inside small corn leaves (or pancas, as they are called in Peru). Solís used this reference to prepare small pancas filled with hot cebiche made with mero (a type of fish). The meat is wrapped in corn leafs, bathed with a sauce of chicha de jora and yellow pepper, and grilled.