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Canchan potatoes are found in many different sizes and shapes from round and lopsided to oblong and cylindrical. The semi-rough skin ranges from tan to light brown and bears a characteristic pale pink blush. The skin also has medium-set eyes, dark spots, and some flaky discoloration scattered across the surface. Underneath the thin skin, the flesh is white to cream-colored and is firm, dense, and slightly waxy. When cooked, Canchan potatoes are smooth and maintain a firm consistency with intense earthy flavors.
Canchan potatoes are available year-round.
Canchan potatoes, botanically classified as Solanum tuberosum, are edible, underground tubers grown in Peru and are members of the Solanaceae family. Also known as Papa Rosada and the Pink potato, Canchan potatoes were initially developed at the International Potato Center in Lima, Peru as a variety resistant to late blight, which is a fungus that can destroy and devastate potato cultivation. Though the variety was initially resistant to the fungus and became one of the most popular varieties in Peru, a new mutation of late blight has recently been found that the Canchan is not well-suited against. Despite the decrease in resistance, Canchan potatoes have established themselves as one of the top varieties with over one million tons of grown annually in the mountains and coastal regions of Peru. Canchan potatoes are favored for their high yields, unique coloring, and ability to hold their shape when cooked, making them a popular variety for French fries.
Canchan potatoes contain vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium, fiber, and some antioxidants.
Canchan potatoes are extremely versatile in cooked applications and are used for frying, boiling, and roasting. In Peru, the variety is predominately made into French fries, favored for its crunchy exterior and fluffy interior, but the tubers are also sliced and tossed into soups and stews or roasted and cubed for potato salads. Canchan potatoes are the variety most used in the traditional dish known as papa rellena, where the tubers are boiled, mashed, wrapped around meat and filling, and deep-fried. The tubers are also used in cuy al horno, which is a traditional Peruvian dish comprised of grilled guinea pig, potatoes, and salad. Guinea pig is considered a delicacy in Peru and is often reserved for special occasion dishes. Canchan potatoes pair well with meats such as lamb, beef, poultry, and pork, green beans, tomatoes, corn, mushrooms, cassava, rosemary, cilantro, oregano, and quinoa. The tubers will keep 3-5 weeks when stored in a cool, dry, and dark place.
In Cuzco, Peru, potatoes are one of the staple ingredients in traditional cuisine and are displayed at fresh markets in large piles. Seen on menus of restaurants for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, potatoes are considered a heritage food and are beloved for their versatility. Canchan potatoes are mainly used in fried applications in Cuzco, but they are also utilized in pachamanca, which is a traditional Peruvian dish consisting of vegetables and meat cooked underground. It takes several hours to prepare and cook pachamanca, and the dish is cooked over a combination of hot stones and soil to create a smoky and earthy flavor. In the dish, several types of meat such as guinea pig, lamb, poultry, alpaca, or pork are cooked with potatoes and other vegetables like chiles, corn, and beans to create a hearty feast. pachamanca is commonly prepared at large gatherings and special occasions, first invented by the Incas, and the long cooking process is a reminder of the life-giving earth and a celebration of the food that has been given.
Canchan potatoes were created by the International Potato Center in Lima, Peru and were developed to be a variety resistant to late blight. Released in 1990, Canchan potatoes became widely popular across Peru and are still one of the top varieties sold through local farms at fresh markets today. Canchan potatoes may also be found at select markets in other regions of South America.
Recipes that include Canchan Potatoes. One is easiest, three is harder.
|Sweet & Savory||Gratin Parmentier|
|Eat Well 101||Garlic Parmesan Roasted Potatoes|
|Chew Out Loud||Onion Parmesan Roasted Potatoes|
|Plowing Through Life||Twice Baked Potato Casserole|
|The Cooking Jar||Mashed Potato Puffs|