Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Peru's Corn and Potatoes

It is amazing that in Peru there are so many varieties of corn and potatoes. When you walk through the outdoor market you will see many shapes, sizes and colors of corn. The more amazing thing is that they use them all. The use corn in side dishes, main dishes, in drinks and in desserts and they are all delicious.

Some of my favorite corn items are chicha, a dark purple soft drink, toasted corn called "cancha" or "canchita" which isn't popped corn nor is it corn nuts but something about half way between the two and last of all I like "mazamorra" which is a gelatinous dark purple dessert with raisins added. It's very mild and not too sweet, but very delectable.

They say there are hundreds of varieties of Potatoes but that you can really only find about 50 or so in the country and in any particular market you will see anywhere from 10 to 17 varieties of potatoes. They have the ones that we have in North America and many others. They have small yellow potatoes and ones that look like long thin roots with speckled colors of red and orange on the skin. Then there are just big ones of all textures and sizes and the ladies at the market will tell you that this one is good for frying and this one is good in soup and the other one is good for making mashed potatoes.

Peru will always stand out as one of the best culinary destinations.

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