Good news from the Peruvian Andean Mountains!
At 3500 meters above sea level, indigenous communities in the high Peruvian Andes mountains have been able to withstand millennia of extreme weather. This area is an international important source of biodiversity for alpacas, potatoes and tubers. More than 2,000 varieties of potatoes and tubers are grown in the Andes, unfortunately many of these crops can’t be exported to Europe. Fortunately Bud Holland does have a weekly supply of Mashua, Oca and Olluco!
In Europe, the tubers from the Andean mountains aren’t that well-known yet. Which is unfortunate, because these beautiful products that were once (and still are) of vital importance to the population of the Andes, can also be a welcome change for our daily portion of potatoes, of which the ancestors also came from the Andes. Luckily, Peruvian cuisine in Europe is on the rise and the demand for these wonderful products is growing every year.
Mashua, Oca and Olluco are the most important potato tubers in the Andes. The cultivation of these root vegetables dates back to 5,500 years BC. Ancient Inca drawings show how important these tuberous plants were for the population. The potatoes from the Andes are known as the original potato and have distinctive shapes and colors. This provides a wonderful effect on our plates. All tubers can be eaten raw, for example with pepper and lemon juice. However, they are also delicious when roasted or cooked and served as potatoes and they are also very suitable to add to a stew or soup.
From the breathtaking mountain area in Peru we received good news last week: the cultivation of the Mashua, Oca and Olluco is on schedule. The crops are beautiful, as can be seen in the pictures below. We hope to be able to expect the first tubers of this year in May!