Thursday, June 02, 2011

El Dia Nacional de la Papa

Taters, spuds, pommes de terres, kartofi, papas, patates...potatoes! May 30 is the National Day of the Potato here in Peru. I learned this that morning at Markham College, where the kindergarten teachers made a presentation to their kids about potatoes. That afternoon, I went to the grocery store and found this sale flyer, commemorating the tuber. As it says in the headline on this flyer, the potato is the symbol of Peruvian identity.

There are around 5,000 varieties of potato, which originated in the Andes. They only made it to other countries about four centuries ago. The Vivanda flyer advertises a sale on papa amarilla, papa blanca canchan, papa amarilla peruanita, papa blanca yungay, papa huamantanga, papa huayro and papa cocktail.

Some are for frying, some are for boiling, some are tiny to dip in a sauce, some are for mashing. I have had potato served at almost every meal I've eaten out, usually along with rice. I've had yellow and purple sweet potatoes. I've had yellow potato formed into a shell around a filling and I've had deep fried mashed potato. Week before last I bought potato chips made from native potatoes that were yellow streaked with purple.

This definitely is the land of the potato. No complaints here--they're delicious!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is fascinating! I've been waiting for you to tell us something about the great variety of potatoes. Thank you.