What?! Popcorn that pops on the inside? Peruvian Corn Nut or Cancha


Peruvian Corn Nut or Cancha is a unique snack that is sure to rise an eyebrow or two at your next party.  Cancha is popcorn that pops on the inside only and leaves the outer shell intact.  This gives Cancha quite a unique texture as the popcorn retains the harder shell.  Cancha is great as a snack food and is often served with beer and ceviche in Peru.   Cancha can be combined with various flavor combinations:  Use butter to make it richer, add cayenne pepper for a little spice or make a sweet treat using brown sugar and cinnamon.  It is similar to corn nut sold in the US.  Cancha is surprisingly easy to make as the following instructions show.

Cancha is a main staple in Peru and should be easily found in any Latin American market that caters to Peruvians.  My local Latin American market has a special Peru section that carries all the things a Peruvian would miss and seek out.

The Cancha kernels have an interesting shape, being quite long and bigger compared to regular popcorn .

Making Cancha is quite easy

  1. Find a large pot
  2. Put heat on the high setting
  3. Put some oil in the bottom of the pot that can handle high heat (like Canola or Olive oil)
  4. Wait 30 seconds
  5. Add the kernels to the pot and keep moving the pot every few seconds so the kernels don’t burn
  6. After 30-60 seconds the kernels will start to pop
  7. Turn the heat down to medium and keep shaking the pot every few seconds
  8. Wait till all the kernels have popped – voila your Cancha is done

Below a video of the process:

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