After months of white bread, white toast and white rolls in Chile and Argentina, it was such a relief to arrive here to potato country. Bolivia has over 400 kinds of potatoes growing within its borders, and this is the main staple of Bolivian cuisine. Walking through Sucre’s central market, it was incredible to see these different kinds close up: various shapes, sizes and colors, ranging from tiny purple nuggets to long brownish radish-like shapes.
Health-conscious North Americans are currently going crazy for Bolivia’s biggest export – quinoa, but Bolivians prefer their starchy crops. In fact, 92 kilos of potatoes are consumed per person year year here, compared to just 1kg of quinoa.
Potatoes are eaten for breakfast and for lunch, and sometimes for dinner, too, with each variety used for different local dishes. Our favorite potato dish so far has been Papas a la Huancaina, which is actually a Peruvian dish but equally as popular in Bolivia. This easy vegetarian dish is made of boiled potatoes served with quarters of boiled eggs, all topped with a yummy, creamy peanut sauce. We’ve also had spinach and potato gratin, stuffed potatoes, a fair amount of fries and warming potato soups.