The Andean Cross

When the designer of this blog suggested various options for a logo, I liked them all, but there was one that I immediately felt a connection to – Chakana, or the Andean Cross. The word comes from the Quechua word chakay, meaning a square shaped cross, a powerful symbol of the pre-Incan peoples, and seen as a symbolic bridge between heaven and earth. The top of the cross represents the Sun god, Viracocha, and the bottom represents Mother Earth, Pachamama. It has three symmetric steps that represent the three levels of existence, Hanan Pacha, the upper world of the superior gods, Kay Pacha, the plane where we live, and Urin Pacha, the underworld.

Chakana also represents the Southern Cross Constellation, one of the most important constellations in the Inca Empire. People in the Andes honor the Southern Cross every year on the 3rd of May. This is the month of harvest and celebration where people give thanks to the cross for the protection of their crops.

Machu Picchu Reopens

Machu Picchu, also known as the “Lost City of the Incas,” is an ancient Incan site located near the city of Cuzco and one of the ”New Seven Wonders of the World.” For two months at the beginning of the year, the area was deluged by heavy rains, which caused mudslides and the overflow of the Urubamba River. Not only were the sacred ruins and railways affected, but also communities in Yucay, an area close to the ruins, had houses totally lost. Visitors were evacuated from the area in early February and Macchu Picchu was closed for almost two months. This month, the site reopened, with government officials and Susan Sarandon welcoming visitors back.

I am looking forward to visiting Machu Picchu with my family this summer and I’ll let you know how the area is recovering.

Welcome to Marita’s Peruvian Cooking

My name is Marita Lynn and I own Catering by Maria, a full service catering company serving New Jersey and the New York metro area. Since I moved to the U.S. in 1991, my passion has always been to show people the wonders of Peruvian cuisine.

Coming from a family of good home cooks, I decided to enroll in culinary school so that I would have a solid foundation for cooking professionally. Once in school, I started to add a Peruvian touch to the dishes I would prepare. I remember my classmates loving my sazon – a term which I’ll talk about in my next post – and I always made the point that the dishes I make are everyday dishes in Peru. Once I graduated and started to work, I would often talk to my fellow chefs with great enthusiasm about Peruvian cuisine and now I’ll be sharing that with you.

I am very excited to bring you my new blog, “Marita’s Peruvian Cooking,” and I can’t wait to share with you recipes, information and personal experiences about my journey from childhood right through today. My intention is to convey the greatness of Peruvian cuisine, its history and regional diversity as well as all the stories behind my culinary background. I hope you enjoy!

Marita Lynn

Peruvian Cuisine section

For newcomers to this site, a good place to get an overview of Peru’s diverse cuisine is my Peruvian Cuisine section. Here you can read about the country’s regions, ingredients and traditions.

© Copyright 2010 Marita Peruvian Cooking