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Longing for Peru and the sapo game!

Updated on March 23, 2016

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!


The Inca Kola drink bottle and can
The Inca Kola drink bottle and can
Presenting the new Inca Kola ice cream!
Presenting the new Inca Kola ice cream!
The lucuma fruit with seed inside
The lucuma fruit with seed inside
Three scoops of delicious lucuma ice cream!
Three scoops of delicious lucuma ice cream!

Chaplín biscuit

Single biscuit
Single biscuit

Revolución Caliente street seller

Inca Kola

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!


Lucuma

When I was in Peru one of my favourite ice creams used to be lucuma, which was made with the fresh fruit.

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!

Revolución caliente!

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

This was originally a logo, but it shows all the elements of the Revolución Caliente sellers and the Peruvian black people culture.
This was originally a logo, but it shows all the elements of the Revolución Caliente sellers and the Peruvian black people culture.

Revolución Caliente artistic show

View of the Morro Solar from Miraflores
View of the Morro Solar from Miraflores

Pacific Ocean!

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!


Froggie!
Froggie!

Sapo game

 

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!

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    • sylvia13 profile imageAUTHOR

      Sylvia Gadea de Beer 

      6 years ago from Shoal Bay, NSW, Australia

      Ron J. I guess the size of the game would be quite big and heavy too with all those brass parts! Somebody wrote a comment to my hub and apparently he imports the game from Peru! I would suggest you Google him, as he lives in Canada.

    • profile image

      Ron J. 

      6 years ago

      Anyone know where I can get the Peruvian frog game (brass parts to build one) in the US, at a decent price? I just got back from a trip to Machu Pichu and saw the game in my travels and should have bought it for $35US when I was there, but did not know if weight limitations would prevent me from putting it in my luggage.

    • sylvia13 profile imageAUTHOR

      Sylvia Gadea de Beer 

      8 years ago from Shoal Bay, NSW, Australia

      It is funny how one remembers simple flavors with so much intensity and feeling! They are like symbols of one's childhood in a way, aren't they?

    • Princessa profile image

      Wendy Iturrizaga 

      8 years ago from France

      I was born and spent my childhood in Peru, Inka Kola and lucumas are two flavours that will always make my mouth water. I live in France now and you cannot find them here, but everytime I go to Madrid I get a car load of Inka Kola, turron de Doña Pepa, and lucuma sachets (not lucky enough to get the fresh fruit).

      Your hub has made me really hungry, thanks for bringing back so lovely memories!

    • sylvia13 profile imageAUTHOR

      Sylvia Gadea de Beer 

      8 years ago from Shoal Bay, NSW, Australia

      Can I come too? Enjoy your trip and do try all the ice creams, especially lucuma!

    • profile image

      ftnirish7 

      8 years ago

      awesome hub! I'm visting Peru in 6 months. I can't wait to try Inca Kola and all the exotic fruits.. mmm

    • profile image

      Froggie la Grenouille 

      8 years ago

      Thank you very much,Sylvia.

    • sylvia13 profile imageAUTHOR

      Sylvia Gadea de Beer 

      8 years ago from Shoal Bay, NSW, Australia

      Me hubiera gustado incluir los barquillos, ya que me recuerdan de La Herradura, pero no pude encontrar fotos! Otra cosa que recuerdo son las habas, supongo que fritas, algo que nunca he podido comer en ninguna otra parte! Buena suerte con el negocio de Sapo (alias Froggie)!!!

    • profile image

      Juan Quintana 

      8 years ago

      I live in Montreal,Canada for the past 40 years....and me too I remember all of the mentioned Items,like Inka Kola,Galletas Chaplin, mis preferidas!,faltan los barquillos,la yuquita frita.....y el Juego de SAPO nuestra compañia los esta importando directamente de PERU,para el mundo entero....chequea nuestro sitio web para que te enteres....we importing the froggie game we call it FROGGIE LA GRENOUILLE9El Juego del SAPO.

    • profile image

      Ariana 

      8 years ago

      I'm just back in Australia after a holiday in Peru. I loved the country and the people. Played "toad" at a chicheria in a little village (I was hopeless: very low scores!) Enjoyed eating Peruvian foods. Causa, ceviche, grilled alpaca, suspiro limena ... Mmmm!

    • profile image

      Ariana 

      8 years ago

      I'm just back in Australia after a holiday in Peru. I loved the country and the people. Played "toad" at a chicheria in a little village (I was hopeless: very low scores!) Enjoyed eating Peruvian foods. Causa, ceviche, grilled alpaca, suspiro limena ... Mmmm!

    • sylvia13 profile imageAUTHOR

      Sylvia Gadea de Beer 

      8 years ago from Shoal Bay, NSW, Australia

      Inca Kola is 60% owned by the Coca Cola company! It can be easily purchased in Peru and other Latin American countries and some specialty shops elsewhere. I have also read that it is available in 2 litre bottles in the USA. Some people reckon that it is very sweet and that it has a bubble gum flavor.

    • Kevin Peter profile image

      Kevin Peter 

      8 years ago from Global Citizen

      Inca Kola ? Is that a competitor for coco cola ? how can i get Inca cola for Drinking !!! what is the difference ?

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