Cochabamba is the city of eternal spring. Nestled at the foot of Mount Tunari and other peaks, this valley city, at an altitude of 8,430 feet (2,529 meters), is an important agricultural center, as well as an alpaca handicraft center and a popular vacation spot.
The city's name is derived from the Quechua Khocha pampa, meaning "swuampy plain". Cochabamba lies in a fertile green bowl, 25 km long by 10km wide, set in a landscape of fields and low hills. To the north west rises Cerro Tunari (5,035 m.) the highest peak in central Bolivia. Cochabamba is famous for its chicha, a fermented corn drink that is the locals' favorite tipple.
Once in town, to get a good view of Cochabamba, you have two excellent options. One is to get to El Cristo, the huge statue of Christ overlooking the city, by driving, biking or walking up the hill, or taking the Teleferico that provides a spectacular view of the city. The other option is to go to the Coronilla on San Sebastian Hill. The entrance is on Av. Aroma. From this monument, wich honors women and children who defended the city during the war of Independence, you will see Mount Tunari and the road to the chapare, a lush, tropical, region that has gained world fame as the country's principal coca-producing region.
La Cancha, on Av. Aroma, is a lively, open-air market where one can find the exquisite products of the valley and see women wearing the characteristic dress of the area. In the section of La Cancha that is part of the railway station area, you can find all sorts of black market products including Tv sets, video cameras, tape recorders, handicrafts, clothing and food.
Cochabamba has a wide variety of dishes, many of which date back to ancient times. Others are relatively new but have penetrated deep into the taste of Cochabamba. Being the city in a fertile valley, its privileged soil makes Cochabamba the Gastronomic Capital of Bolivia.
Cochabamba has spent one day a week to different dishes, but in a matter of eating and drinking, the ordinary citizen tasting of variety in the days and hours that best choice.
- AJÍ DE PATAS: This dish takes rice, white potatoes and plenty drowned, which is the meat that are part of the legs of the beef, peas that are cooked with ground red pepper inside drowned.
- CHANKA DE POLLO: This dish takes chicken, potatoes and beans as main ingredients. Depending on the amount of broth, it can also be a soup. The alternative is to use potato flour instead of potatoes or add it to make it more palatable.
- CHICHARRON: The chicharron is one of the typical dishes of Cochabamba which is prepared in large pots accompanied by mote, potato flour, and a rich and llajwa pincante. In the valley this dish is usually accompanied by a gourd of chicha (fermented corn drink).
- CHORIZO RELLENO: This dish is served with peeled corn or wheat peeling, can also be with corn, tomato salad, onion and lettuce, toast and chorizo sausage. It may be accompanied with llajwua.
- ENROLLADO CRIOLLO: Exquisite taste, prepare is an art. This typical of Cochabamba, dish is served on Mondays. It is made from pork meat is covered with pig leather and then cut it into slices.
- ESCABECHE: The ESCABECHE is a dish best served cold and consists of pigskin bathed in vinegar, oil and water. It is served with carrots, onions, peppers. Optionally served with bread and corn mote.
- FIDEOS UCHU: Also known as Aji de fideo, this dish takes as basis noodles, potatoes, ground beef or some variant or chicken, what vegetables like peas, beans and eventually stop decorate a little chopped parsley is added.
- LAPPING: This dish is roast beef chest to the pan together with mote of beans, corn, and potatoes cooked solterito shell, hearty salad and red pepper (uchu llajwa) or raw salsa.
- LOMO BORRACHO: The dish contains onion, tomato, carrot retostado a little pan and cooked with a little liquor or wine, with pieces of beef. Includes golden potatoes, roast beef steak and a fried egg.
- PIQUE MACHO: The Pique Macho is a very popular dish consisting of meat chunks in juice and french fries accompanied sausage, egg, pepper and tomato slices. Mayonnaise and other sauces to accompany is added.
- PUCHERO: This soup, which is a mixture of flavors, contains three types of meat: chicken, beef and lamb, plus fruits like peach, apple and pear, also adding vegetables: carrots, potatoes, turnips, red pepper, parsley and, if desired, corn.
- RANGA: The base of this dish is beef or belly Booklet. It is accompanied by yellow pepper, pepper, cumin and garlic. It is accompanied by a bush potatoes and onions, tomatoes and locotos.
- SILPANCHO: The name of this very typical dish comes from the Quechua Silpanch'u Cochabamba, meaning thin or crushed flesh and consists precisely of a flattened piece of meat accompanied by rice, cooked and golden potatoes, raw locotos sauce and fried.
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