Cancha

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Appetizers | Cancha Image

(Ecuadorian, Peruvian toasted corn snack)

Cancha, a popular snack in Peru and Ecuador, is made with a special type of large-kerneled corn called maíz chulpe or maíz cancha chulpe. The dried kernels are tossed with oil and toasted in a hot skillet until they are browned and puffed. A simple sprinkling of salt and the cancha is ready to eat. Cancha is often served with ceviche or a cold beer.

Image Creative Commons by jasonlam

4 to 6 servings as an appetizer

Ingredients

  • Maíz chulpe (see notes) -- 2 cups
  • Vegetable or olive oil -- 3 tablespoons
  • Regular or sea salt -- 1 teaspoon

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium flame. Add the chulpe and toss to coat with the oil. Cover the pan and cook as you would for popcorn, shaking the pan from time to time to keep the kernels from burning. The kernels will begin popping (without turning inside out like popcorn) and will take on a golden brown color. They are done when the popping subsides, about 10 minutes.
  2. Toss the cancha with salt to taste and serve warm or at room temperature.

Notes

  • Maíz chulpe is available at many Latino grocery stores. If you can't find it near you, the plain version of the American snack called "corn nuts" is essentially the same thing as cancha.
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A tastier American version of cancha

Several people from South America countries have told us that they are thrilled to find the GLAD CORN brand A-Maizing Corn Snack because it is so very similar to the snack they grew up with and haven't been able to find in the USA.

You can buy it here.

Thanks for that info. You can actually buy it online from Amazon. You have to buy a case of 24 packs, but I suppose if you're serving it for a party, that's perfect! Otherwise enjoy months of cancha snacking fun!! Cheers, Chef Brad