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Roja Sangre Potatoes
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Roja Sangre potatoes range from small to medium in size and have a slender, elongated shape with slight tapering at one end. The oblong tuber has semi-rough, rust-brown skin with a few prominent, medium-set eyes. Underneath the skin, the flesh is firm, dense, and has a cream-colored base with marbled fuchsia and dark pink spots. When cooked, Roja Sangre potatoes have a smooth and tender consistency with a slightly sweet, earthy flavor.
Roja Sangre potatoes are available year-round.
Roja Sangre potatoes, botanically classified as Solanum tuberosum, are edible, underground tubers of leafy plants that are native to Peru and belong to the Solanaceae or nightshade family along with tomatoes and eggplant. A rare variety that is often overshadowed by the thousands of other native potatoes, Roja Sangre potatoes are favored for their unique flesh coloring and versatile nature, used in a wide variety of everyday culinary applications.
Roja Sangre potatoes contain some vitamin C, zinc, potassium, phosphorus, iron, and antioxidants.
Roja Sangre potatoes are best suited for cooked applications such as frying, boiling, and roasting. The tubers can be boiled, cubed, and tossed into potato salads, sliced into casseroles, or cooked in soups and stews. They can also be sliced and roasted into wedges, made into French fries, or boiled and mashed. It is important to note that the pink coloring in the flesh will fade with cooking. In Peru, Roja Sangre potatoes are sometimes used to make mazamorras, which is a dessert using potato flour to make a pudding out of corn and fruit. They are also used in the dish known as pachamanca, which is a celebratory dish of meats and vegetables cooked in the ground in hot stones and soil. Roja Sangre potatoes pair well with meats such as pork, poultry, and fish, tomatoes, corn, chiles, red onions, rice, and beans. The tubers will keep 3-5 weeks when stored in a cool, dry, and dark place.
Peru is home to over 3,800 different varieties of potatoes, but outside of Peru the native tubers remain mostly unknown. To help preserve the native potatoes, the International Potato Center or CIP in Lima, Peru has the most extensive collection of potato varieties in the world and is researching to protect, enhance, and promote potato cultivation worldwide. Working with Peruvian farmers to continue to grow native varieties such as the Roja Sangre, the CIP also works with local companies to create educational based programs to increase gastronomic tourism. These potato centric tours focus on the history of potatoes in Peru, how they are cultivated, and how they are used in traditional cuisine to increase awareness and to help preserve the rich history and genetic diversity.
Roja Sangre potatoes are native to Peru and have been cultivated since ancient times. The tuber’s exact origins and history are mostly unknown, but they are commonly grown in the mountains and are sold in fresh markets in select cities across Peru.
Recipes that include Roja Sangre Potatoes. One is easiest, three is harder.
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