In the Andes regions of Peru there is a plethora of incredible and delicious crops that you have to try to believe they actually taste better. In no particular order, these 10 crops come from some of the finest farms, usually free from chemical pesticides and GMOs that many other farmers across the world insist on using. Perhaps it is this, or the fact that many are native to Peru and therefore grown in optimal conditions by the experts. From outrageous types of potatoes to the sea salt mined on the Andes mountains, your taste buds will thank you.
Half of the world’s supply of quinoa actually comes from Peru. A lot of peruvian soups and dishes are made with the delicious and healthy grain. You can also buy quinoa for a lot cheaper than you probably do in your home country.
The andes regions of Peru produce some of the biggest corn in the world. It is so big that you can actually pick off a single piece from the cob with your teeth. Take a quick drive through the mountains and you will likely run into rows of farmers selling their corn on the side of the road. They will wave the husks in the air to get your attention, and usually have a large pot of boiling water closeby where you can see the corn cooking. An impressively large cob of Choclo (as it’s called in Peru) is usually handed to you wrapped in the husks and served with cheese.
There are around 40,000 different varieties of potatoes grown in Peru. Potatoes were first cultivated in Peru during Inca times, providing a good source of nutrition and combating famine. From yellow to purple, soft to rock solid, and all sorts of different flavors, you will find potatoes everywhere in Peru. See how many types you can try during you time in Peru. The starchy veggie is a staple food in Peru, from salchipapas to causa.
The earliest evidence of sweet potato (camote) dates back to 10,000 years ago in Ayacucho, Peru. One of the country’s most famous desserts, picarones, are made by frying sweet potato and dousing it with a sweet maple syrup. Both yellow and purple sweet potatoes are grown in Peru.
Another one of Peru’s top and original crops are from the same family as the potato. No matter the time of year, you can find delicious and ripe tomatoes at any market or corner store. There are of course a variety of sizes, including a tiny pea-sized tomato that is only found in Peru. Tomatoes were first grown here and continue to flourish thanks to the incredible biodiversity of the Western Andes.
Palta as it is called in Peru is of course delicious. Avocado cannot survive in cold climates and therefore is best grown in tropical and subtropical temperatures. Many of Peru’s avocados are shipped off to consumers in countries that cannot naturally produce them successfully like the US, where there also happens to be a big avocado craze. The ones that remain are delicious, and sometimes ginormous! A Peruvian avocado can grow to be the size of 3 fists.
Beans also originated in the Andes. In Peru you won’t find very many black beans but an assortment of shapes and sizes and colors of beans are found everywhere.
I am not sure if there is an agricultural science behind this, but the black olives in Peru taste better – confirmed with multiple US expats! I never liked olives before moving here and now I cannot get enough, I buy a bag a week. Much of Peru’s olives are exported but the ones that remain are incredibly juicy, savory and tangy and dark purple in color. They come from the coastal regions where they can grow comfortably in the subtropical climate.
Passion fruit is native to the amazon rainforest in Peru and is seen typically in delicious drinks all around the country. Get it in juices and even cocktails like pisco sour- a match made in heaven!
This long edible root is debated to have originated in either Mexico or Peru. It is packed full of nutritional value, with significant amounts of starch, calcium, phosphorus and vitamin C.