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Olluco (Papa Lisa) - Ulluco

Olluco (Papa Lisa)

Ulluco - Staple Food of the Incas


Ollucos have their origin in the high plains of the Peruvian Andes and are cultivated since pre-Columbian times. Next to potatoes and corn, this root vegetable was an important staple food of the Incas. They come in different shapes and sizes, but usually look like a potato.

Papa Lisa, as the olluco is called as well, is orange to yellow with red or purple spots on the outside and has a crisp texture.

Ollucos are used in various Peruvian dishes and mainly eaten cooked, mashed or baked similar to a potato. But not only are the tubers of the Ulluco plant used but also the leaves. They are mostly added to salads. The traditional Andean way of conservation and preparation of Olluco is to make a special chuño, which is a freeze-dried potato, called llingli.

Each year on the 5th of October various Andean communities in Huancavelica celebrate the "Dia del Olluquito" (the day of the Ullco) by preparing famous dishes with this great root vegetable.

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