Food and Cooking For The Incas

By Avery Gu and Braedon Wong

What did the Incas eat?

Meals were commonly made up of boiled or roasted corn and potatoes. They made many soups and stews from herbs and spices like chilies. Fish were also a main part of their diet because they lived near a lake called Lake Titicaca. Each family would have a family of guinea pigs which they would get meat from. In some areas the Incas raised ducks and ate Huanca province dogs. In some areas of the Inca tribe they would have llamas. Herds of the llamas gave the Incas lots of meat, but they believed that this animal was too valuable to eat. They only used the meat if the llama stopped being of any use. They ate the llamas as a delicacies.
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Festival Bread yum

When did they eat?

The Incas ate 2 meals a day, one right after dawn and one an hour before sunset.

What did they cook with?
The Incas cooked with many spices and herbs. Which included chilies and peppers. They ate many spicy foods.

How did the Incas cook their food?
The Incas sometimes cooked on a clay stove with slits on the face so the heat would seep through the slits and cook the food. Cooking was also often done by putting hot stones in cooking bowls. When the water in the bowls started to boil from the rocks it cooked the soup. and there was extensive use of the huatia, the clay stove and earthenware bowl.

What did the Incas drink?

Chicha was a common drink. This cloudy beer, was dranken every day and during festivals the beer was rapidly dranken. The beer could be produced from a number of plants other than corn, including quinoa and oca. Oca can be sweet or bitter, it depends on how it is made.

What were some Inca desserts?

It is hard to know the Incas actual desserts and foods are since the Incan civilization was all but wiped out by the Spanish conquests towards the end of the 16th century. The closest you can get to the Incan food is Peruvian food which is a mix of food that was not just Incan. The main dessert was believed to be festival bread. This bread was often ate at big celebrations.

How do you make the Inca Festival Bread?
Festival Bread ingredients
  • 8 T butter
  • Milk
  • 2 large Eggs
  • 8 oz Can cream style corn
  • Water ground cornmeal (white)
  • 10 oz Sharp cheddar cheese ---- 1/4 cup coarsely grated
  • Remainder cut into 1/4 inch cubes
  • Coarsely chopped hot chilies, fresh or canned
  • 4 oz Can whole-sweet red pimentos, roasted 1/2 cut into long strips,
  • Other 1/2 coarsely chunked
  • Baking soda
  • 1 t Salt
Cooking Inca Festival Bread
1. In a small saucepan, melt 6 Tbsp.
2. butter over low heat.
3. Do not brown.
4. Preheat oven to 400. Put remaining 2 Tbsp.
5. butter into an 8 inch diameter baking casserole; heat in oven no more than 4 to 5 minutes to avoid browning butter.
6. Rotate and tilt casserole to coat inside.
7. Set aside.
8. In large mixing bowl, beat milk and eggs.
9. Smoothly blend 1 cup white cornmeal, melted butter, corn, diced cheese, chillies, chopped red pimento, baking soda, salt.
10. Mix thoroughly.
11. It should have the consistency of southern cornbread, moderately runny but not down right liquid.
12. If it seems to runny work in 1 or 2 tbsp.
13. white cornmeal.
14. Give butter in casserole a final swizzle, then pour in batter, smoothing it level.
15. Sprinkle grated cheese over top and decorate with pimento strips.
16. Do not cover.
17. Place casserole, exactly in center of oven.
18. Bake until a knife lightly pushed in center comes out clean and dry- usually 40 to 50 minutes.
19. Serve at once.
20. Cut into fairly thin, pie - shaped wedges.
21. You can let the bread cool to room temperature.
22. It stores well tightly wrapped in the refrigerator, but it is best not to serve it cold.
23. One loaf makes about 8 servings.

This is how to make the Inca Festival Bread.

Annotated Bibliography

"Inca Food : Foods in Ancient days." Peru Travel Dairy. 3 Dec. 2008 <>.
This website was very good to us, we could find alot of foods that the Incas ate and also many way the Incas seasoned and prepare their food. It also has other information on the Incas besides just their food like their goverment, their history, their empire, their religion, etc.

Rees, Rosemary. The Incas. New York: Heinemann Library, 1999.
This book gives alot of information about what the Incas ate, their clothing, their gods, and many other things.

Baquedano, Elizabeth. Aztec, Inca and Maya. Grand Rapids: Dorling Kindersley, Incorporated, 2000.
This book gave us many important facts about the Incas, but it also talks about the Mayans and Aztects.

"Inca Festival Bread." 1 Dec. 2008. 1 Dec. 2008 <>.
This website gives you the recipe for the Inca Festival Bread.

Odijk, Pamela. The Incas. Englewood Cliffs, N.J: Silver Burdett, 1989.
It gives information about food and cooking and clothes what the incas did.

Grant, Neil, Manuela Cappon, and Luisa Della Porta. Everyday Life of the Aztecs, Incas and Mayans. North Mankato: Smart Apple Media, 2003.
It gives information about the Incas, Aztecs, Maya. It also gives information about food and cooking for those listed tribes.