Throughout Shadow of the Tomb Raider, you will see these Urpu jars in markets at shrines in sacred temples even in tombs. I wrote an article about them found here, of course, you will also find the favourite sacred drink of the Incas known as Chicha inside these jars. Additionally, you can still get it in stores and Andean bars.
What is Chicha?
Chicha de jora is a corn beer that at the time of the ancient Inca culture was considered sacred. The people that brewed it were usually virgin priestesses. This was because of the sacred nature of the drink. The word “jora” is a type of yellow corn.
What makes this beverage even more interesting is the fact that the local people of the sacred valley in Peru brew chicha at home and they add their own personal touches to each batch.
One of the most popular flavour choices is cinnamon and fennel and mint. These ingredients are added before the final fermentation.
On a side note about the making of Chicha.
In the sacred valley of Peru, you will occasionally see red flags on wooden poles by specific homes. These quietly (secretly) designate chicha brewers.
A Sacred Ceremony
Chicha de jora was often used for sacred ceremonies They would pour the beverage out onto the ground in an offering to Pachamama who the Inca believe is mother earth. They did this out of gratitude for the fertile earth. then they saluted the mountains they called apus. After that, they drank the chicha and felt they were rising closer to their gods and they felt it increased their awareness.
Also, in ancient times they would chew the corn and spit it into a bowl as one of the first steps for the creation of the brew.
Recipe and books
The below recipe for chicha Morada is a variation on Chicha de jora. This one is made with purple corn. It is not fermented but Chicha de jora (made with yellow corn) is fermented.
- 2 cups dried purple corn kernels
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 tablespoon of cloves
- 2 quarts of water
- 2 ounces piloncillo (Mexican brown sugar)
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Place corn, cinnamon and cloves and water in a large pot and bring the mixture to a boil.
Reduce the heat to a low simmer and cook for about 1 hour. The flavor will improve with longer cooking, up to 2 hours.
Remove the mixture from the stove and add the piloncillo and stir until dissolved. Strain the liquid and refrigerate until well chilled. Serve over ice with a splash of lemon juice.
The Incas, 2nd Edition (Peoples of America)
Until the next update! Explore the world!