The Genetic Diversity of Peruvian Produce

Peru is the country of an uncountable variety of potatoes. If you’re a fan of potatoes–which I am unfortunately not, it doesn’t agree with my digestion–Peru will never fail to surprise you each day.

The variety and diversity of agricultural produce–the fruits of the land–are endless. From fruits, to grains, to corn; the staples of Peruvian food possess a genetic diversity seen nowhere else in the world.

During the colonial period and continuing up until the time of the Second World War; Peruvian cuisine became Spanish cuisine. Anything that could be regarded as native or Peruvian was ignored. Indigenous food plants, which the locals continued to eat, were regarded as peasant food and were to be avoided. These colonial attitudes took a long time to fade.

Since the 1970s, however, there has been an effort to bring the native food plants out of obscurity. Due to the genetic diversity of Peruvian produce, nutrition requirements and needs can be easily met. When these staples were abandoned during the Spanish era, nutritional levels dropped considerably.

In the valleys and plains of the Andes, the diet is still a traditional one based on: corn, potatoes and an assortment of tubers. Meat comes from indigenous animals like: alpacas and guinea pigs, but also from imported livestock like sheep, cattle and swine.

Pisco, a type of brandy, is the national drink of Peru. It originated during the colonial period as a substitute for the Spanish liquor known as orujo. Pisco uses fresh grapes like wine-making. This distilled beverage made is produced in various regions of the country. Pisco Sour is a cocktail made from pisco combined with lime juice, egg white and simple syrup.

Trivia: Peru is the world’s largest producer of quinoa. It is also one of the largest producers of coffee and cocoa.

2 thoughts on “The Genetic Diversity of Peruvian Produce

  1. Very interesting post!! I love the Peruvian cuisine: Ceviche, Causa a la limeƱa, Anticuchos de Corazon… It is interesting to know the inspiration behind those dishes. I didn’t previously know that peru is a large producer of quinoa!! Peru has also a good vineyards and wine, though it is not one of biggest the producers. I believe if not mistaken, Ica Valley is known for that!

    Liked by 2 people

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