On May 30 is National Potato Day in Peru – the day each year to pay homage and celebrate one of the most important food crops in the world originating in Peru.
Already over 10,000 years ago potatoes were cultivated in the High Andes of southeastern Peru in the area of the Titicaca Lake, in the Ayacucho region and in the Valley of Chulca and later all over the Andean highlands.
Potatoes were an important staple food and a main energy source for early Peruvian cultures, the Incas and the Spanish conquerors who brought them back to Europe. From there the potato took over the rest of the world and today is among the 5 most important food crops worldwide.
And while in most countries overseas there are usually just about a dozen or so different varieties of the tuber for sale, in Peru you still find more than 4,000 varieties of native potatoes. They differ in shape, size, color, skin, texture and of cause taste, but all have their place in the Peruvian cuisine.
To celebrate the immense diversity of the potato, to increase the consumption as well of native varieties and to give small farmers, which primarily grow the tuber in Peru, a platform to introduce their produce to consumers, the National Potato Day was initiated over 15 years ago.
Since then each May 30 (and around this date) there are numerous festivities, festivals and fairs throughout the country that offer Peruvian dishes and drinks made with the famous tuber, markets where farmers offer their great variety of native Peruvian potatoes, cooking classes and contests around the potato.
Numerous restaurants in Lima and some in other cities offer special menus and drinks using the great variety of native Peruvian potatoes.
Have a look at our Event Calendar for details on festivals and happenings surrounding this year’s National Potato Day.