Welcome to CuzCo Foods! We are a food business based in Lima, Peru and San Francisco, California. We work in partnership with Peruvian farmers and growers to transform their amazing ingredients into delicious products sold in US, Canada and Europe.
When I first travelled to Peru in December 1998 I was overwhelmed with the bustle and humid chaos of Lima in the summer. After years of living in the leafy tranquility of West London this was all very new and incredibly exciting, I had never been anywhere quite like Lima. The concentration of people, the odd presence of concrete buildings (complete with purple paint and tinted windows) next to beautiful crumbling colonial mansions. What struck me most was the smell of cooking that wafted from dark courtyards and the doorways of tiny restaurants. Walking around Lima I remember being mostly hungry but warned that my delicate European stomach was not ready for the onslaught of lemon, chilies and garlic. I am so grateful to my hosts for launching me straight into pisco sours, ceviche, rocoto relleno and aji de gallina with the only side effect that I was hooked on this delicious food. I remember having a little plate of tiradito, a bracing pisco sour and sitting on the end of the jetty in Paracas watching the sun go down in complete heaven. The simple pleasures of life.
Fast forward several years and I fulfilled my ambition of moving to Peru. I had started Viva La Papa!, a small batch potato chip company that turns some of the thousands of varieties of Andean tubers into snacks. I am proud to say Viva La Papa! Is now the leading gourmet potato chip brand in Peru.
CuzCo Foods was born in 2015 with the launch of six products under a new brand “Nina Muru”. The words in Quechua (traditional language of the Andean people) signify the meeting of “Fire/Sun with Grain”. Working with the amazing community of Maras, we have introduced High Altitude Pink salt, Peruvian herb and native chili blends. From the Sacred Valley we have found the World’s largest corn and transformed these plump kernels into versatile and delicious snacks. Now, in November 2016 we are about to launch Paqu Jaya, Quechua for “Spicy Alpaca”! This is our range of Chili sauces and dried chilies…but more on that shortly.
This is my first post and there will of course be more. It may sound like the Golden Globes but I wanted to thank my family and friends for their support over the past few years. Working in Peru has been an exciting and at times challenging experience..it has meant a great deal of travel and much understanding from my two boys…so thank you and I love you!