Sweet Potatoes Occupy Peruvian Cuisine

Sweet Potato in Cuzco

Sweet potatoes, called camote in Peru, are well known. They are widely consumed in our country because of their benefits and the flavor that the flavor they have. Even we call them papa dulce, or sweet potato, sometimes, because of their high concentration of sugars. They produce well and abundantly and as a result managed normally in the fields.

This tuber grows in the inter-Andean valleys, whether near the coast, in the highlands, or in the jungle. It prefers topical and temperate climates and altitudes up to 2500 meters above sea level. They are especially widely grown in Ayacucho and in the Amazon region. The camote is harvested in the same way as the papa or ocas (oxalis species).

Like our potatoes, the Peruvian camote also comes in a lot of varieties. This is especially true since it is native to our land.  Among others, we have the white, the pink, the yellow, the orange, and the purple sweet potatoes. While all of these grow in Peru, the most common are the purple and pink.

Puchero or Timpu, a Special Dish During Cuzco's Carnival
Puchero or Thimpu, a Special Dish During Cuzco’s Carnival

While people love the tubers, the leaves of the sweet potatoes vine are used as forage for livestock. This is very important for nutrition since they have a lot of vitamin c. The camote can come in a range of sizes and forms, in accordance with the land it grew on and other factors that influence the growth and development of its plant.

The sweet potato finds numerous uses in our food. It can be a main ingredient of many of our typical dishes, such as the puchero (thimpu), which is the traditional dish of carnival.

You can eat it baked or boiled. It can come as a mash or also fried into chips. Cut into fine rounds and fried, these are packaged and placed for sale as an easy means for people to consume sweet potatoes. Baked camote should be eaten with calmness and without hurry in small, chewable, pieces. If you eat it too quickly, it becomes difficult to eat and digest because of how starchy it is.

Cusco Street Food, Baked Sweet Potato
Cusco Street Food, Baked Sweet Potato

Just as with other items of food, you can find camotes in our markets, our stores, and also our supermarkets. You can buy them by kilos, or even by greater weights such as arrobas, depending on the quantity you wish to obtain.

With the growth of camote as part of modern gastronomy, its consumption has increased in recent years. For example, as ceviche has become ever more popular, so has camote, since it is a standard accompaniment to the fish in this wonderful dish.


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