Andina

Causa, one of the best cold, layered potato dishes

A dish linked to the Peruvian history and projected to be fused with international flavors

Causa

Causa

09:51 | Lima, May 15 (ANDINA).

By Mariella Mazzei, Traslation: Gabriela Candela

Mashed yellow potato, grinded yellow chili, and lemon juice bring to life a soft and tasty dough, which can be filled according to the cooker’s taste and that is part of the elite’s Peruvian dishes.

The potato is originated in Peru and it is cultivated in the whole country in more than three thousand varieties. In effect, it is impossible not to find the potato in the table of the Peruvians, who prepare it in a thousand different ways.

The potato accompanies the majority of cold and hot dishes. It is a great garnish because, besides being delicious and nutritious, it can be adjusted to all tastes.

However, one of the most exquisite and original dishes that can be prepared with the potato, and also is part of our independence’s history, is the causa.

Mashed yellow potato, grinded yellow chili, and lemon juice bring to life a soft and tasty dough, which can be filled according to the cooker’s taste and that is part of the elite’s Peruvian dishes.

The most renowned chefs feel themselves as artists when they prepare it. An artwork can be done adding to the pastry diverse ingredients with different forms, colors, and tastes.

Some people attribute the causa’s origin to the Incas, because they believe it comes from the Quechua word kausaq, as Incas used to denominate to the potato, which means sustenance for the life.

The Peru’s ancient people prepared the rokro or ruxru based on kausaq or boiled potato mixed with chili. So, it is said the preparation took later the name of “causa”.

Homeland’s causa

Other people’s versions affirm the causa was protagonist of Peru in two distinct and important moments.

Adolfo Perret, from Punta Sal, and Oscar Bustamante, from Mi Causa, agree that the causa’s origin goes back to the Pacific War, in 1879. In that conflict, as some stories indicate, plenty of people collected goods for helping to support the expenses of the campaign.

The women also participated, and in that context, they took advantage of the great quantity of existing potato.

One of them had the idea of boiling and mashing the potato, mixing it with oil, yellow chili, lemon drops, salt and pepper. She kneaded it in order to incorporate the ingredients and discovered later she could sell it to gather funds.

Immediately, this woman propagated the product with the sales talk “For the causa, for the causa” (alluding to the meaning of cause). Then, the dish took the name of causa. As time goes by, its fame was extended and was transformed according to the regional tastes.

Outside’s  flavor

In Lima, there is a worthy place to visit: Mi Causa, where 40 versions of causa can be tasted. Its creator, Oscar Bustamante, offers this dish also fused with international dishes.

The Italian causa is made to the pesto style, with mushrooms, cheese and prosciutto. The German causa, with white sausage and sweet pickles. The Russian one with caviar, the Greek causa with salad and goat cheese, and the English one with roast beef.

(END) GCJ/LVT


Published: 5/15/2008
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