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Potatoes served with aji in a village near Pisac

While potatoes aren’t very exciting outside of Peru, that’s mostly because the few varieties that are available in other countries have been hybridized for high yield and shelf life over nutrition and flavor.

In Peru potatoes can be a rainbow of colors from pink and yellow to blue and purple. The textures of simply boiled potatoes also vary widely between light and fluffy to dense and creamy. Depending on who you ask, Peru is estimated to have between 3,500 and 4,000 varieties of potatoes.

Everybody from vendors at simple market stalls with a set menu to exclusive restaurants like Central in Lima can usually tell you which varieties are on your plate.

Potatoes on Amantani Island Lake Titicaca

Central (Restaurant)

#1 in Latin America, #4 in the world (l,d; $$$$)

Chakruna Native Burgers

Alpaca to veggie burgers (l,d; $$)


Traditional Peruvian (l,d; $$)

Parque de la Papa

Over 1,330 potato varieties

Text © Heather Jasper

Images by Heather Jasper