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- Visiting South America
Longing for Peru and the sapo game!
Que viva el Peru!
I spent my childhood and school years in Peru, but then I left to move to Australia, Santo Domingo and eventually Austria. I have been back to the country where I was born a few times, but have not been there for many years now. Being away from my country has made me long for family, friends, food, music, the sea and many other things. It is in honour of my country and our traditions that I now create this hub hoping that people who love my country or have visited will enjoy it too!
My longings on Facebook!
Many links to Inca Kola too!
Galletas Chaplín on Facebook!
Information about the fruit and even recipes!
Recipe to make Revolución Caliente
Revolución Caliente street seller
I don’t usually like drinking fizzy drinks, but of course, Inka Kola is the big exception! I always drink it when I go to Peru and I think its bright yellow color is its distinguishing factor, although its appeal might just be the Inca name! It has also been called the golden cola, although some people reckon it is the yellow devil! I also happen to like the yellow and blue logos on their bottles and cans!
A few months ago I saw a young girl near the park in Graz, the city where I live in Austria and she was wearing an Inka Kola t-shirt! It’s a small world I guess, isn't it? I have also read that now they are introducing a new Inca-Kola popsicle type of ice-cream, but I have no idea what that tastes like!
When I was
in Peru one of my favourite ice creams used to be lucuma, which was made with the
Lucuma is a delicately flavored tropical fruit native to the cool highlands of South America, particularly Chile and Peru. To get a taste of the fresh fruit you have to visit those countries from January to April, which are the summer months there.
As it is difficult to get fresh, the other option is
to get the dehydrated form, as flour or powder, which is what sometimes is used
to make ice cream when there is no fresh fruit available. Chile and Peru are
the main producers and the bulk of the production is used in dehydrated form,
with only a small percentage reaching the local markets for fresh consumption.
Lucuma grows best at altitudes above 1,000 metres. The fruit has an oval shape and is about 5 to 8 cm long. Once the it is peeled, the flesh inside is orange-yellow and it has a dry and starchy texture. Outside Peru, the only place where one can get lucuma ice cream is generally in Peruvian restaurants fortunately.
Galletas Chaplín: my favorite childhood biscuits!
I remember I used to get these biscuits in the corner shop near our home and they used to sell them in paper bags, not wrapped. They were hard to bite on, but that was part of their attraction! Apparently now they sell them wrapped and one can get them in packages of 20 too. I don’t long for Maria biscuits, as one can get them anywhere, but Galletas Chaplín I have never been able to find them anywhere else outside Lima. But I think they must be well known, as one can even find them in Facebook! People commented that one can't find them in Germany and joked that they save you from hunger and that they can also sharpen your teeth!
When I was
a child I remember hearing Revolución Caliente vendors as they approached our
house. They usually came hawking along the streets when it was already dark,
carrying a lighted lantern with them! They kept the biscuits warm inside a big white
sack they carried with them and they always tasted so good and had such a lovely
smell! Vendors traditionally came from either the north or south of the country, where there are many black people.
This is the song they usually sing:
Revolución caliente, música para los dientes. azúcar, clavo y canela, para rechinar las muelas! (Hot revolution, music for the teeth, sugar, cloves and cinnamon, to grind your teeth)
Peruvian black culture
Revolución Caliente artistic show
As an Aquarius who now lives in Austria, a landlocked country, of course I miss the view of the Pacific Ocean from Miraflores, the suburb in Lima where I used to live. I also miss the rolling surf approaching the coast; watching surfers with their boards on Waikiki Beach; seeing the beautiful sunsets in the evening; watching the Morro Solar across the way; riding along Costa Verde until one gets to La Herradura to eat fresh seafood; hearing the sound of the waves breaking on the shore, while one smells the sea all around! Oh, Pacific, I sure miss you!
Sites on the Internet reckon this game is Peruvian in origin, but I am not so sure, as in Portugal the game is called Jogo do Sapo, in France it is known as La Grenouille, in Belgium Tonspel or Pudebak, and in Catalonia - La Rada. In South America it is very popular and it goes by the name of Sapo, which means frog, or toad game.
Whether you call it Frog, Sapo Game, Juego/Jogo de Sapo, or El Sapu, they reckon that the name still comes from the mystical, ancient history of the Incas and their sacred Lake Titicaca!
Sapos are handmade in Peru of Tornillo wood and the top and backboard pieces are covered in leather sole. The size is usually 0.60 cm long, 0.60 wide and 1.20 high, with 30kg aproximately of weight.
I remember playing many games of sapo in my childhood in Peru, as most of my friends had a game in their country house, but I haven’t seen any sapo games in years!
In the Comments capsule you can read about a Peruvian who now lives in Quebec, Canada and he has a website where he sells the Sapo game made in Peru. He has names for it in three languages too: Sapo, Froggie and Grenouille!