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Perricholi potatoes are small to medium in size with a round to oblong shape. The firm skin ranges in color from tan, light brown, white, to cream-colored and is semi-rough, covered in deep-set eyes, knicks, and marks. The thin skin may also exhibit spots of purple or red hues scattered across the skin. Underneath the surface, the flesh is dense, crisp, and aqueous with an ivory to yellow hue. Perricholi potatoes have a starchy texture with a sweet, earthy flavor.
Perricholi potatoes are available year-round.
Perricholi potatoes, botanically classified as Solanum tuberosum, are the edible, underground tubers of a small leafy plant that belongs to the Solanaceae or nightshade family. A relatively new variety, having been developed in the 1970s-1980s, Perricholi potatoes were a hybrid created to have improved resistance to disease and the flesh does not discolor once peeled. With this highly valued quality, Perricholi potatoes became one of the primary varieties used in Peru for commercial processing. They are also one of the most popular varieties sold in local, fresh markets and are used as a staple ingredient in everyday cooking, traditional dishes, and ceremonial proceedings.
Perricholi potatoes contain potassium, manganese, vitamins B6 and C, copper, phosphorus, and fiber.
Perricholi potatoes are most commonly used in fried preparations as the flesh does not discolor once peeled. Utilized in restaurants, commercial processing, and home kitchens, Perricholi potatoes can be thinly sliced and baked or fried into chips, cooked into French fries, or used as a table potato and baked, steamed, or roasted. In Peru, Perricholi potatoes are used in the traditional dishes loma saltado and papa rellena. In loma saltado, the potatoes are made into French fries and are served with a beef stir-fry that includes tomatoes, herbs, onions, and rice. In papa rellena, a filling of eggs, beef, tomatoes, onions, garlic, olives, paprika, and herbs are stuffed into a baked potato mash and then fried to create a crispy crust. Perricholi potatoes are widely versatile and pair well with flavors from tomatoes, onions, garlic, corn, parsley, cilantro, cheese, and meats such as poultry, beef, and pork, and fish. The tubers will keep up to one month or more, depending on when the tuber was harvested, when stored in a cool, dry, and dark place.
Legend has it that Perricholi potatoes were named after Maria Micaela Villegas Hurtado, a professional entertainer in Peru who was known to be one of the most famous women in the 18th century. Recognized for her alleged love affair with Manual de Amat, the Viceroy of Peru, the nickname “La Perricholi” was rumored to have been given during a conversation between Hurtado and Amat. The meaning behind the nickname is mostly unknown, with many experts believing it could have been a derogatory slur or a mispronunciation of an endearing term in Amat’s native language Catalan. Despite the ambiguity of the meaning, it became Hurtado’s most well-known stage name, and Hurtado’s story is the topic of many operas, plays, and movies today.
Perricholi potatoes were developed by geneticist Nelson Estrada Ramos at the International Potato Center in Lima, Peru, sometime between 1973-1980. Developed to have improved resistance to disease, Perricholi potatoes became widely popular across Peru and were spread across South America for use in commercial potato production. Today Perricholi potatoes are found commercially cultivated and are also grown on a small-scale in home gardens and by small farms for sale at fresh markets in Peru. The tubers are also commercially cultivated in Ethiopia, Uganda, Bolivia, Guatemala, and Vietnam.
Recipes that include Perricholi Potatoes. One is easiest, three is harder.
|The Spruce Eats||Peruvian Stuffed Potatoes|
|Tasty||Peruvian Lomo Saltado|
|Running on Real Food||Vegan Sweet Potato Corn Chowder|
|Oh So Delicioso||Cheesy Potato Wedges|
|Evolving Table||Crispy Baked Parmesan Garlic Fries|