Andina

The New York Times delighted by Peruvian potatoes

Foto: Difusión

Foto: Difusión

18:43 | New York (U.S.), Apr. 24.

The New York Times published an article praising Peruvian potatoes —tubers grown for more than 10,000 years in the Andes— as well as their wide variety and contribution to a renowned cuisine that captivates the entire world.

Published on its website, journalist Madhur Jaffrey affirmed that —in the land of the ancient Incas— "potatoes come in every texture and color." Thus, they can be red, pink, purple, yellow, or even blue.

The writer told readers that —during his visit to a Pisac district's town in southern Cusco region— he learned a lot from Nazario Quispe, a local farmer who cultivates the millenary tuber on the outskirts of the town.


Titled "The humble potato is exalted in the mountains of Peru," the article noted "the texture of some (potatoes) varieties can be changed by putting them out in the sun for a few days before cooking them. This turns them softer and silkier."

Likewise, the journalist mentioned Peruvian potatoes can have the shape of puma's paws, alpaca's noses or cat's claws. 


"Native to the Andes in Peru and northwest Bolivia, potatoes were domesticated more than 10,000 years ago. And yet new varieties are being discovered all the time," the publication said.


Chuño

The New York Times journalist also indicated that freeze-drying the potatoes for chuño is just one method used to increase their life after harvest.


"Dried potatoes in Peru come in many forms. They can look like pebbles —hard and smooth, in white or purple," Jaffrey wrote.

"They can look like large gravel, with different colors. But they can also be soft, tasting and smelling as funky as fermented bean curd or ripe cheese. Each has a different flavor and texture," he added.

Furthermore, Jaffrey was amazed by the meaning Peruvian farmers give to potatoes. "Potatoes were given superb treatment wherever I traveled," the journalist expressed.

Gastronomy

In his article, the writer also highlighted some traditional potato dishes from Peruvian cuisine.

He indicated that Papa a la Huancaina was a dish made with boiled and sliced potatoes, as well as served with eggs, olives, lettuce leaves, and dressed with Huancaina sauce. 


The main ingredient of this delicacy is the "aji amarillo," a long, aromatic, orange chili pepper.

The journalist also affirmed his favorite dish was causa, which —like lasagnas— "are layered terrine-like dishes, generally served cold, though room temperature can also work for some of them."


"Instead of pasta, potatoes —mashed and seasoned with an aji amarillo paste, lime juice, olive oil and salt— are the most important element in a causa," Jaffrey noted.

Other ingredients to prepare this dish include seafood salad, vegetable salad, chicken salad or, as in the Amazon region, pork-and-onion salad.

Lastly, he praised Peruvian gastronomy, in which potatoes are definitely the stars.  

(END) LZD/MAO/JAA/MVB

Published: 4/24/2018
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