Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Alien Ingredient #11: Cancha/Maíz Chulpe

In reading through my books on South American cooking, I had noted that a type of toasted dried corn called cancha is often served in Peru as a table snack and as a crunchy topping for seviche, but I had never seen any in the bodegas around here until recently. Cancha is made from a type of corn that is generally called maíz chulpe, though in this case it is labeled maíz montaña.

Armed and dangerous with this information, I set about toasting the dried corn kernels in a little oil in an open skillet. Mistake. Like popcorn, cancha go kaboom! Put a lid on yours! After toasting, sprinkle well with sea salt and enjoy! You'll find that it is a little spongy in the middle just like popcorn but a good bit starchier. You'll also find that it has great corn flavor.

Vote: addictive!

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