Our Beautiful Human Family: Cultural Spotlight on Peru
Cultural Spotlight on: Peru
We are excited to start a series of cultural spotlights, featuring the richness both within the US and abroad. Our first post highlights Peru, as a nod to National Hispanic Heritage Month which is observed from September 15 to October 15 every year. We will soon be inviting parents to take part and write about cultures they know and love, so keep an eye out for a sign-up link. Enjoy!
For many of us, when we think about potatoes, our minds think of European fare. Shepherd’s pie. French fries. The classic “meat & potatoes” dinner.
But did you know that potatoes were first cultivated in Peru by the Incas as far back as 8,000 B.C.? They weren’t introduced to Europe until Spanish settlers brought them in the 1500s to Ireland.
And today, Peru is home to more than 4,000 varieties of potatoes. It’s no surprise, then, that potatoes are a staple of Peruvian cuisine.
Amongst the most popular potato dishes from Peru is Causa Rellena. Try making this dish at home with your Greene Towner for a kid-friendly introduction to Peruvian cuisine!
Recipe for Causa (includes vegetarian and vegan variations).
Tip from Rodrigo (father to Primary students Luka & Adrian Daly): Make sure you use yellow potatoes. White potatoes will not give you the needed consistency to hold the shape of the mold for the final presentation (and molding the potato tower is the most fun part!). Latin markets around Philadelphia will carry frozen Pervian potatoes under the brand Peru Foods.
Want to know even more about the history of potatoes? Learn why potatoes were able to thrive in the unfriendly conditions of the Peruvian Andes, how potatoes changed agriculture practices across the world, and much more in the Smithsonian Magazine article: How the Potato Changed the World.