19th Aug 2021 | Food
Nestled on the west coast of South America, and home to 33 million people, the fascinating country of Peru has made many significant contributions to world culture.
From the Andes mountain range to the Amazon river, this diverse landscape provided the backdrop to the emergence of some of the world’s most ancient and progressive cultures.
Moving to more modern times, the small coastal town of Huanchaco is widely regarded as the birthplace of surfing whilst the 6,800 feet high Cerro Blanco is the world’s largest sand dune and takes four hours to hike up and just half an hour to sandboard down.
Paddington bear is, of course, Peruvian but even his impact pales into insignificance considering Peru’s most famous gift to the world – the potato.
The world’s most popular vegetable was first grown domestically in southern Peru some 8,000 years ago, Columbus brought it to the attention of Europe in the late 16th century and in 1995 it was the first vegetable grown in space.
It even conquered Middle Earth, with Samwise Gamgee explaining it’s many virtues to Gollum in the Lord of the Rings – “boil ‘em, mash ‘em, stick ’em in a stew, lovely big golden chips.”
The tuber may have humble roots, but its influence has extended beyond the culinary.
They regularly featured in the paintings of Van Gogh and the artist himself considered the potato eaters, his depiction of a peasant family at supper, as his finest work. Meanwhile the mashed potato was a dance craze of the sixties and Mr Potato Head starred in Toy Story and has been inducted in the US Toy National Hall of Fame.
Potatoes are a staple food across the world with nearly 400million tonnes harvested a year – a quarter of them in China – so it’s fitting that the world’s most popular vegetable should have its own national day on August 19.
Love them as we do, a potato on its own can get pretty boring so, however you prefer your potatoes, at Zorba we have a range of tantalising accompaniments to help you celebrate potato day in style.
Our range of deli fillers go perfectly with baked potatoes – look out for the new flavours, seasonal specials and limited editions alongside the ever-popular choices including coronation chicken and egg mayonnaise.
And whether you crave a Mediterannean, Asian or a Tex Mex twist with your chips or crisps our range of dips provides the answer.
Or perhaps you want to go old school and try our leek and potato soup made by our sister brand, The Real Soup Co.