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It’s in Peru that the first remains of the potato have been found. Archeologists were able to date it all back to 2500 BC! The potato was the main food for the Inca Empire, its predecessor, and the Spanish conquistadores when they arrived in South America. It’s through the commercial network of the Spanish Empire that the potato reached the four corners of the World.

Some would say that Peru’s national dish is ceviche… but what about Papa a la huancaína? Papa a la huancaína is an appetizer made from yellow potatoes bathed in a sauce made from fresh cheese, pepper, evaporated milk and garnished with lettuce and egg. Since it is a cold dish, papa a la huancaina is a favorite for picnics and outings. 

Ingredients (for 4)

  • 17 ounces (500 gr) floury potatoes
  • 5 ounces queso fresco (150 gr, can be replaced with feta cheese or fresh cheese)
  • 4 large leaves iceberg lettuce
  • 3 fresh ají amarillo chili peppers chopped or 3 teaspoons of chili paste
  • 3 cloves peeled garlic
  • 1 egg boiled
  • 4 olives black
  • 1 Teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 Teaspoon milk
  • Salt to taste
  • 2-3 breadcrumbs or salty crackers optional


First, boil the potatoes in salted water. When they are done, you can either remove the skin or leave it, it’s up to you 

If you use fresh peppers, cut them in two halves, remove the veins and seeds and fry them in oil in a pan. Don’t forget the garlic.

In a mortar or a blender, gather the peppers (or pepper paste), garlic, salt, cheese and salt and mix it until you get a smooth cream. You may have to add milk and crackers to achieve just the right consistency. 

Cut the potato in halves, places the halves on a large lettuce leave, cover with the sauce, an olive and a slice of boiled egg. Enjoy! More information on the recipe : https://www.eatperu.com/papa-a-la-huancaina/

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