To warm the winter, try the locro
To warm the winter, try the locro
Locro is a thick and invigorating soup much loved in South American countries: we tell you 6 versions to try this winter.
In recent decades, ethnic restaurants in Italy have increased dramatically: it is difficult to find someone who has never been to a Tex-Mex restaurant, an Argentine steak house, a Japanese-Brazilian sushi bar. a thick South American soup that changes from home to homeThis is why we are convinced that we know the cuisines of the world well: but this is not always the case. In every culinary tradition there are dishes that, although very common in the country of origin, are rarely served in restaurants, especially abroad: in Italy there are examples of minestrone or baked pasta; in Argentina, Chile and the Andean countries it is instead the case of the locro . The locro is a popular dish in almost all of South America: it is believed that its origins date back to the Inca period. Halfway between a stew and a soup, it is a thick soup prepared with potatoes, squash, corn, beans, beef or pork, sometimes even lamb, and accompanied by a spicy sauce. But as with all traditional dishes,the recipe changes from hearth to hearth : Fondos magazine has therefore investigated the kitchens of restaurants and trattorias, in search of local variations and creative changes.
- In Lima , for example, locro is served at El Bodegòn , chef Cinzia Repetto’s restaurant that offers authentic Peruvian cuisine. In Peru, locro is usually prepared with pumpkin, corn, sometimes potatoes, beans and fresh cheese, and flavored with onion, garlic, cumin, oregano and above all huacatay , a local aromatic plant. The addition of a fried egg is mandatory. El Bodegòn proposes the same experience, but with the addition of three types of pumpkin: the macre, so watery as to eliminate the need for broth, the loche , yellow and elongated, and the calabaza , round and sweet.
- In Arequipa , also in Peru, the recipe is that of Edu Sernaqué , of the Los Robles restaurant : beef brisket and dehydrated lamb are added to the potatoes and vegetables, along with the aromas of mint and coriander. As per tradition, Peruvian locro is served on Tuesdays.
- In Chile, locro is a typically spring and summer dish. Rubén Tapia prepares it , in the Quinta La Chanchá restaurant in Talca , using only seasonal vegetables: in addition to potatoes, yellow squash, courgettes, carrots and onions, peas or green beans, flavored with aji color , a sweet pepper. As in Peru, custom has it that at the end, a fried egg is added on top of the locro .
- In Guayaquil , Ecuador, chef Juan José Morán of the La Pizarra restaurant offers a contemporary interpretation of local cuisine. His locro follows a very simple recipe, because customers – as with all dishes usually prepared at home – do not expect anything too exuberant. The base is white onion, to which two types of potatoes are added ( chola , with a creamy pulp, and chaucha , similar to novelle and with a denser consistency), milk and fresh cheese. The customization is entrusted to the guests: according to their tastes and habits, everyone can decide to add white corn, avocado, grated cheese, coriander or chilli.
- In Bolivia the locro carretero was instead a dish eaten while traveling: it was prepared when the caravans, which traveled hundreds of kilometers, found a moment to rest and cook. The main ingredients were therefore those stored in the wagons: rice and dried meat, with the addition of eggs and mashed green bananas and a very tasty broth prepared with beef bones. Today Javier Libera , chef at El Aljibe Comida Típica in Santa Cruz de la Sierra , also adds carrots, onion, cassava or sweet potato and a handful of oregano. In his restaurant he also serves a richer version, with chicken meat.
- Finally, according to Gonzalo Alderete , chef before Perón Perón and today at El Santa Evita , both in Buenos Aires , the Argentine locro is a dish closely linked to family and local customs: not only the ingredients change, but also the density, the temperature, the dishes used. So for his locro , based on corn, beans, pumpkin, beef and pork, red chorizo , smoked bacon, paprika and cumin, he chose a particular service mode: customers are invited to come with their own pot, so as to take the soup away, heat it up and eat it at home.