The Spud Diaries – Entry 12 – Church and Cheering

The Spud Diaries – Entry 12 – Church and Cheering


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WORLD BEATER: The world's largest ever causa rellena, a traditional Peruvian dish involving lots of potatoes. This sucker weighed in at 590kg.

WORLD BEATER: The world's largest ever causa rellena, a traditional Peruvian dish involving lots of potatoes. This sucker weighed in at 590kg.

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A spare day in Cusco provides the opportunity to go to church, witness a parade and a world record attempt involving potatoes.

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BREAKFAST is provided in the downstairs communal kitchen with a range of fruits, toast, cereal, tea and coffee.

The alternative to Corn Flakes are some wheat puff things with some extra small seeds thrown in, as well as some aniseed, I think.

This makes for slightly liquorice-tainted Wheaties, which is nice.

It's Sunday, so it's off to church. I'm warmly greeted at the Maranatha Evangelical Church and the minister/preacher is already into the sermon.

The Spud Diaries - Video 8 - A Parade

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 The service is in Spanish so I'm pretty much in the dark about what he's saying, except for picking up a few things and " gracias Papa" (thank-you Father).

Beth and Tom from the United States have had the same idea as me, slinking in to the back corner during the service.

We're having a chat when numerous people come over, say hello and welcome us.

SUNDAY: The service underway at Maranatha Evangelical Church, Cusco. It's a bit strange to be taking a photo in church but no one seemed to mind.

SUNDAY: The service underway at Maranatha Evangelical Church, Cusco. It's a bit strange to be taking a photo in church but no one seemed to mind.

From here, it's off to a world attempt, involving potatoes, of course. 

A group of chefs and universities have gotten together to make the world's largest "causa rellena" which is a traditional dish involving layers of potato, vegetables, olives, parsley and usually a meat of some kind.

A crowd of thousands has gathered within the courtyard of a cathedral (there happened to be one spare) to watch the chefs build away at the exorbitant dish, prepared on a 5m x 1.5m stainless steel tray.

This thing is enormous. It looks like a small runway of potato.  Eventually the officially record is declared (591kg) and there is much rejoicing.

The Spud Diaries - Video 9 - A World Record

This seems to indicate that the potato is even more highly valued in this part of Peru than Lima.

My potato intake increases with lunch at Bembos, which is a takeaway food place. The meal involves a burger with a meat patty, bacon, cheese, a sauce of some kind… and small fries. Yep - they even put potatoes on burgers.

SPUD BURGER: A very delightful meal Peruvian fast food chain, Bembos. Note the French fries on the burger, a sign of how much they like potatoes.

SPUD BURGER: A very delightful meal Peruvian fast food chain, Bembos. Note the French fries on the burger, a sign of how much they like potatoes.

It is a sensational eat, I must say and different to the other western chains (of which there are outlets within 200m).

It comes with an Inca Cola, my drink of choice when travelling in Peru. Hopefully Coca-Cola, which owns the beverage, will come good with a sponsorship.

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  • Ashley Walmsley travelled to Peru with assistance from the Crawford Fund and with financial support from DFAT Council on Australia Latin America Relations.​ 
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