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Qeqorani potatoes are small in size and are globular to oblong in shape. The semi-smooth skin is tan to light brown and is covered in many deep-set eyes which create a bumpy, knobbed appearance. Underneath the thin skin, the flesh has a cream-colored to yellow base and is marbled with rich, deep purple hues. The flesh is also dense, floury, and dry. When cooked, Qeqorani potatoes develop a soft and fluffy texture with a mildly nutty, earthy taste.
Qeqorani potatoes are available year-round.
Qeqorani potatoes, botanically classified as Solanum stenotomum, are the edible, underground tubers of a leafy plant native to Peru and are members of the Solanaceae family. Typically grown at an altitude between 3,500 to 3,900 meters, Qeqorani potatoes are cultivated on a small scale in Peru and are valued for their unique shape, flesh coloring, earthy taste, and flexibility in daily culinary applications.
With so many different varieties of potatoes found in Peru with various shapes, colors, and sizes, Peruvians have also become accustomed to eating an array of tubers in order to obtain different nutritional properties. Qeqorani potatoes are believed by Peruvians to contain high amounts of vitamins and minerals and are consumed frequently to promote overall health and well-being. Qeqorani potatoes are an excellent source of antioxidants, vitamin C, iron, and fiber. They also contain magnesium, potassium, and zinc.
Qeqorani potatoes are a versatile variety that is well-suited for baking, frying, mashing, and boiling. Its unique coloring may fade with cooking, but when sliced the tuber can be roasted into chips or cooked into French fries. Qeqorani potatoes can also be used as a table potato, which means it is used in everyday recipes such boiling and mashing, baking whole and serving as a side dish, or boiling and serving with sauces, meats, and other vegetables. Qeqorani potatoes are sometimes used in traditional dishes such as cuy chactado, which are boiled potatoes served with fried guinea pig, a prized delicacy in Peru. Guinea pig is mostly reserved for special occaion dishes and is also consumed in Bolivia, Educador, and Colombia. Qeqorani potatoes pair well with meats such as poultry, beef, pork, and lamb, hard boiled eggs, corn, quinoa, rice, beans, tomatoes, and chiles. The tubers will keep 3-5 weeks when stored in a cool, dry, and dark place.
In Peru, the annual food festival known as Mistura showcases traditional Peruvian cuisine, art, and culture to celebrate the diversity of the country. Celebrated in September, the festival invites food vendors from all over the country to showcase unique meals and snacks including traditional potato dishes such as papa a la huancaina and lomo saltado. There are also markets within the festival that sell fresh local meats and produce. Qeqorani potatoes are often featured at this festival because of its unusual coloring, and many Peruvians believe it is highly nutritious, protecting the body from sickness and disease. While shopping in the market, visitors also have the opportunity to watch performances of traditional song and dance.
Qeqorani potatoes are native to Peru, and while its exact history is unknown, native potatoes in Peru have been cultivated for over eight thousand years. Today Qeqorani potatoes are grown in regions surrounding Cusco, Huancavelica, and Ayacuhco, and can be found in fresh markets across Peru.
Recipes that include Qeqorani Potatoes. One is easiest, three is harder.
|Travel Food Atlas||Peruvian Guinea Pig (Cuy)|
|Sugar Love Spices||Potato and Tomato Bake|
|The Spruce Eats||Homemade French Fries|