Peruvian Popcorn : Typical Peruvian Snacks

Corn (maíz in Spanish) in all its forms is a big deal in South America. There is a huge number of varieties, from corn on the cob like we have here, but with giant kernels (maíz choclo) to purple corn (maíz morado) which is used to make drinks such as chicha.

Cancha is a type of Peruvian toasting corn, which is found extensively across the country. It’s normally served as a snack or accompaniment to classic dishes such as ceviche. It’s simple to make – here we’ll tell you how to do it.

How do I use maíz cancha toasting corn?

Making maíz cancha is easy, but you’ve got to be careful once it starts popping!

So, take a couple of cups of cancha corn and a frying pan and let’s get started…

  1. Heat a tablespoon of sunflower oil over medium high heat in the pan.
  2. Once it’s warm, add the corn and start stirring when it starts to pop.
  3. The corn will start to jump out of the pan – so be careful! Cover it partially with a lid, but so that you can still stick your wooden spoon in, and stir and cook until the corn is golden.
  4. Tip the corn from the pan onto a paper towel to mop up any excess oil.
  5. Sprinkle with salt to taste and serve. You could save it with some spicy sauce as a great dip!

What would I serve it with?

Whatever you want! Cancha corn is often left on a table in Peruvian restaurants as a nibble before your food arrives, and the salty crunch goes great with a cold beer too, meaning it also ‘pops up’ in bars too. You’ll also often find it served alongside ceviche, sweet potato and rice as part of one of Peru’s most famous dishes; where it complements the zingy fish perfectly.

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