I sat down at the computer this morning to double-check the meaning of the word "taita," because my review this week is of a contemporary Peruvian restaurant named Taita, and I wanted to know what it meant. See also: - Denver's ten best new restaurants of 2012 - Photos: Taiti Peruvian Cuisine & Bar opens Friday - Best Peruvian Desserts 2013: Azucar Bakery
Before I knew it, I was down a rabbit hole, listening to "Taita Inty," a track by singer Yma Sumac that reminded me of a cross between Peruvian spirituals and the Queen of the Night aria from Mozart's Magic Flute. I stumbled across an Amazon debate over whether the singer was really a Peruvian princess or a Jewish girl from Brooklyn (her name being "Amy Camus" spelled backward) and if it even mattered when her "cinema music for the mind," as one commenter called it, was so sensational.
I brushed up on my world history, learning that inti -- the "inty" in Sumac's song -- was the Incan sun god, second only in rank to the creator god. But what about taita? I finally found an online translator that said taita is baby talk for daddy, but when I checked in with native Spanish speakers to see if their experiences bore that out, they'd never heard of the word. So I went to the source.
Taita chef-owner Jose "Pepito" Aparicio explained that in Peru, taita is used both as an endearing term for grandfather and as a term of respect, which comes full circle to Sumac's eerie tune dedicated to father sun.
Find out if Taita's food is as electrifying as Sumac's song when my review is posted here tomorrow.