Welcome to my newest feature! The following will be the beginning of a catalog of some of Peru’s most famous and most mundane things which can only be described as, Peruvian…
So you may be thinking, “Ok Mike why is this so interesting”? And I agree, it really isn’t that interesting, but this little bag of chips was my inspiration for this story just over a month ago. I arrived early to work and had to wait for someone to get to the office to open it up. I decided to go to the gas station for a snack and Felipe arrived just in time for the photoshoot.
Living in Peru provides a constant reminder that everything is just a little different here. Right down to your potato chips. I for one, have never encountered a multi-coloured potato before. I mean I’ve seen yellow, orange and purple before but never all in the same slice!
Little did I know, after a little research, I’ve discovered a number of sources which suggest virtually all modern potatoes can be genetically traced back to one area in southern Peru. There’s even a saying, “That’s more Peruvian than a Potato”! (Wiki for the keen)
The ancient cultures of Peru revered the potato as a vital part life and archaeologists have dated Peru’s domestication of the plant to 8000-6000 B.C. (Interesting article on how Peruvians freeze-dried toxic potatoes!) . Amazingly, it’s perhaps thanks to the post-modern Peruvians that we had potatoes to fuel working class Europe through the ages. Potatoes were brought back to Europe in the 1500’s by the South American explorers. Everything after that is history! You might even say Europe would never have survived the middle-ages or industrial revolution without a little help from the Inca! And god knows I’d never have made it through childhood without grandma’s potato perogies myself!
Today Peru produces these little tubers to the tune of 3000+ different species. This little bag of colourful chips demonstrates how really unique they are.