Between the Andes and the Amazon
If you want to travel to Peru or Colombia, you have to cover thousands of kilometres. At Grüne Woche, it is only a few steps. Johanna Harzig Neira and her company SierrAzul are exhibiting at the fair for the tenth time. Her family business exports coffee beans from Colombia to Europe. From purchasing to roasting, everything comes from a single source.
Different varieties are neatly lined up on a wooden shelf. Johanna Harzig Neira explains the differences: "These beans come from a women's cooperative in the mountains of Sierra Navada de Santa Marta. Their flavour is reminiscent of hazelnuts. And this one, also from the region, tastes of chocolate and caramel." Another area where SierrAzul highland coffee is grown is in Huila. Johanna Harzig Neira likes the coffee from this diverse natural paradise because of its chocolaty flavour.
However, there is also an Arabica on the shelf, which is characterised by its low acidity and is therefore very digestible. Colombia is one of the largest exporters of this popular variety - and also grows the matching sweetness. Panela is a caramel-coloured sugar alternative obtained from boiled sugar cane. Unlike industrial sugar, it contains minerals such as iron, zinc and magnesium. "It can be dosed in the same way as conventional sugar," explains Johanna Harzig Neira, "but is healthier."
Opposite, Castro de la Cruz mixes Caribbean cocktails. But what kind of drink is his co-exhibitor Americo Garcia Choque serving over the counter? At first glance, it looks like ink. But the chicha morada doesn't owe its colour to artificial colouring. It comes from the long boiling of purple maize, which is grown in the Andes. The refreshing drink gets its fruity, tangy flavour from the addition of pineapple juice and lemon as well as spices such as cinnamon and cloves. It is rich in antioxidants and minerals.
Americo Garcia Choque also sells typical Peruvian dishes, such as tamales made from corn dough wrapped in banana leaves or papa rellena, stuffed potatoes. He usually stands at Christmas markets or the Carnival of Cultures - and already has an idea of what he could bring to next year's Green Week: Chicha Blanca is made from quinoa and also tastes very refreshing.
If you want to enjoy Peruvian food outside of Grüne Woche, La Choza de la Anaconda here in Berlin is the place to go. The restaurant also exhibits at the Green Week. Manager Juana Ingunza can recommend the ceviche made from raw fish, coriander, onions and lemon, which will be freshly prepared by a chef at the fair. If you want to arm yourself against the cold of the Berlin winter, you can also equip yourself with alpaca woollens at her stand. The range extends from scarves to socks.