Cocktail Blanca Potatoes
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Blanca Cocktail potatoes are small in size, averaging 2-3 centimeters in diameter, and are round to oblong in shape. The thin skin is smooth, ranges in color from tan, light brown, to off-white, and has a few medium-set eyes scattered across the surface. Underneath the skin, the flesh is pale white to light yellow and is firm, crisp, and dense with a waxy texture. When cooked, Blanca Cocktail potatoes have a dry, flaky texture and a mild, sweet, earthy flavor.
Blanca Cocktail potatoes are available year-round.
Blanca Cocktail potatoes, botanically classified as Solanum tuberosum, are small tubers that belong to the Solanaceae, or nightshade family. Also known as Papa Blanca and Papa Tomasa, the name Blanca Cocktail refers to the potato’s small size and the tubers can be harvested from many different varieties of common white potatoes. Blanca Cocktail potatoes are one of the most commonly consumed potatoes in Peru and are favored for their small size, mild flavor, and ability to maintain shape once cooked.
Blanca Cocktail potatoes contain vitamin C, iron, magnesium, and fiber.
Blanca Cocktail potatoes are best suited for cooked applications such as boiling, roasting, frying, and grilling. They are often used in soups, stews, green salads, potato salads, or they can be roasted on their own for a crisp and earthy side dish. Blanca Cocktail potatoes can also be roasted and served with rice, mixed into a creamy sauce, sliced and used as a topping on tarts and pizzas, cubed and mixed into chili, or sliced and layered in lasagna. In Peru, the tubers are often used in guiso de pollo y papa which is a dish of chicken and potatoes served in a simple tomato-based sauce, and in papa con mani which is a dish of boiled potatoes in a peanut sauce served with lettuce and boiled eggs. Blanca Cocktail potatoes pair well with Peruvian yellow peppers, onions, garlic, tomatoes, oregano, bay leaves, turmeric, cheese such as cottage, queso fresco, and feta, and black olives. They will keep for a couple of weeks when stored in a cool, dry, dark place.
Each year, Peru celebrates Dia Nacional de la Papa or National Potato Day on May 30th. This celebration commemorates the day in 2005 when laws were made to protect the native potatoes and also celebrates the diversity of the colors, shapes, and textures of Peruvian potatoes. Throughout the country, especially in Ayacucho, Cusco, Junin, Huancavelica, and Huánuco, many villages hold festivals that have live cooking demonstrations, photo contests, arts and crafts, and have local restaurants showcasing the Peruvian potato varieties.
Blanca Cocktail potatoes are native to South America, specifically Peru and Bolivia, and have been cultivated for thousands of years. Many of the white potato varieties were then spread via Spanish explorers to Europe, Asia, and North America throughout the 16th century. Today Blanca Cocktail potatoes are commonly grown in the valleys of Huancavelica and Ascension in Peru and are also found in the United States, Europe, Asia, Australia, and other regions of South America.
Recipes that include Cocktail Blanca Potatoes. One is easiest, three is harder.
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