Gluten Free Snacks: Cancha

gluten free snacks

Gluten Free Snacks: Cancha

I admit that I discovered this gluten free snack purely by accident and I am really glad I did.  Since I was diagnosed with the auto immune disease, Hashimoto’s Thronditus, I have decided to follow a gluten free diet in efforts to reduce if not reverse the destruction of my thyroid gland.  Finding gluten free snacks has become a non stop quest for me because even though I was never a big snack eater or junk food fanatic I don’t want to feel deprived or restricted in any way.  Discovering the non gmo Peruvian snack food Cancha is a real treat.

Gluten free snacks

So I was walking around the International Market hoping to find vanilla beans when I came by this bag of Chulpe Corn.  It didn’t look like regular corn to me but I thought it looked interesting enough to make something with it.  To be honest I was thinking Risotto.  Upon researching this corn I was happy to discover that it was a heirloom corn grown in the Andean countries.  It’s a traditional food that the native people of Peru have been eating for 3000 years.

Gluten free snacks

This heirloom corn is completely GMO free since the farmers in the Andean Countries do not have the technologies to apply to their crops and the government, in efforts to protect the culture, have established a law forbidding GMO products to be grown in Peru.

gluten free snacks

Cancha is similar to popcorn in the sense that it is heated in a pan until the kernels become puffy.  The pointy kernels will pop and jump when heated but it does not look like traditional fluffy white popcorn that we are use to.  It sort of resembles Corn Nuts but with a more starchy flavor and it doesn’t need to be deep fried.

Gluten free snacks

If you are in the mood and looking for gluten free snacks, Cancha is easy and quick to prepare. All you need is a little coconut oil, some salt or seasoning, and a pot with a lid to prevent the kernels from popping out.

Some seasoning suggestions include;

1.  Sea Salt

2.  1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp chili powder, 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, 1/2 tsp seat salt

3.  1/4c Parmesan cheese, finely grated, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp salt

4.  1 tbsp brown sugar and 1 tsp. of cinnamon

5.  2 tsp. ground cumin, 1 tsp. ground coriander, 1/2 tsp. chile powder, 1/2 tsp. sweet paprika, 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. ground allspice, 1/4 tsp. ground ginger, 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper, 1/8 tsp cloves

You can find maiz chulpe at Latin markets, International Food Stores (like I did)  and online.



Gluten Free Snacks: Cancha


  • 2 Cups Mais Chulpe
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Oil
  • Seasoning


  1. Heat oil in saucepan and then add Chulpe Corn. Cover with lid and shake pan occasionally.
  2. Corn is done when the popping has stopped and corn is puffed up.
  3. Add seasoning of your choice.
  4. Serve warm and enjoy!
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