Bananas. Bananas. Bananas. They are like gremlins around here. Give ‘em a little water and they just multiply. Eat what you were served and mysteriously another 5-6 appear in front of you. . I would guess that an average adult in Chazuta consumes 15 each day. Sweet bananas, savory bananas and a variety that tastes exactly like a potato. Look in any direction and you are sure to see a banana. A lot of effort each day is dedicated to the transport and selling of bananas. I learned very early on to drop hints that it just wasn’t possible for my body to pack in as many bananas as a Chazutina can, because while I do like most of the bananas and plantains, I have a limit. The two places where I go for lunch most days now know to not serve me any. And elsewhere, even though I’m given half as many as everyone else, I still have banana coming out of my ears.
Ingiri, “boiled plantain” in Quechua, is served with nearly every meal and is my least favorite way to eat it. We have it as a drink or porridge in the morning, boiled and mashed with milk. We eat fried plantains, plantains that have been tossed into hot ashes for a while, and plantains on the grill. There are plantains in most soups and sweet bananas on every kitchen table for a snack. My favorite is a sweet plantain hot off the grill and cut open with crushed peanuts inside!
At Mishky we sometimes talk about Lima, as everyone has at least one relative living there. The conclusion is always the same: Why would anyone want to leave to Chazuta to move to Lima when there are 12+ varieties of bananas here? Chazuta 1 – Lima 0.