How Restaurants in Lima are Using Tucupi Negro

Alice Waters disciple Cesar Costa's restaurant is making, healthy, nutritious, and delicious food for accessible prices.

Those that read this site regularly know that I’m a big fan of tucupi negro (also called ají negro, or tucupi preto in Brazil), a fermented and reduced sauce produced by many indigenous Amazonian communities. This ancestral food product was believed to have no monetary value, but over the last several years, the culinary community has discovered it and demand is growing.

In Peru, chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino and his NGO Despensa Amazónica, have been working with the Bora-Huitito community of Pucaurquillo to develop a commercial version of tucupí negro, which is being sold in stylish 200-milliliter bottles, as well as creating a network of restaurants to buy the product and experiment with it. This act is changing the economy of this community and as word spreads other Amazonian communities are following their lead.

None of this matters if no one realizes how delicious tucupi negro is and doesn’t buy it, however. So, to create awareness, 20 of the best restaurants around Lima made dishes made with tucupi negro. Here are some of the examples of what they have served:

Wild paiche with tucupi BBQ at áMaz

Sudado de paiche with tucupi negro at Lima 27

Prawns in tucupi negro escabeche at Astrid y Gastón

Shiitake risotto with tucupi negro at Matría

Scallop and tucupi nigiri at Maido / Duck Magret in a tucupi negro and banana sauce with masato farina and heart of palm at La Niña

Header image of smoked eggplant with tucupi negro from Mayta.