Travel Photo of the Day: Corn in Peru

Staff Writer
Corn has been a Peruvian staple for thousands of years

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

Corn comes in many shapes, sizes, and colors in this part of the world.

Since 1200 B.C., Peruvians have grown corn of all colors: white, yellow, purple, and black are just a few. There are more than 55 varieties of corn currently grown along the Peruvian coast, highlands, and jungle — this makes for the most variety than anywhere else in the world!

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Given the diversity of the different varieties of corn (which is the consequence of different varieties adapting to different climates over time), it’s normal to expect that Peruvian corn is not exactly like the corn that’s known in the States. In comparison, corn in Peru has longer kernels, is chewier with a thicker texture, is less sweet, and generally has a nutty aroma.

Corn is one of the foundations of Peruvian cuisine and is also used in drinks like the purple corn-based chicha morada and stews including pepián (corn with onion, garlic, chiles, and sometimes turkey). There are also Peruvian desserts that use corn as a main ingredient; sanguito is a common cake made from yellow corn flour, raisins, and a sugarcane molasses known as chancaca.

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