Unusual Fruits and Vegetables Discovered at a Bolivian Market
For our Food & Travel Issue, Carolyn Kormann travelled to La Paz, where an avant-garde restaurant, Gustu, has contributed to Bolivia’s food revolution by using only local ingredients. The country is one of the world’s most biodiverse, with more than 20,000 documented species of plants. Here are a few of the weirdest. http://bit.ly/1VQpoWv
- •TumboThe chef of Gustu calls this “the high-altitude cousin to passion fruit.” The seeds inside taste like SweeTarts.
- •TuntaThe white potatoes here are preserved by an ancient method: left outside to freeze and thaw repeatedly during the dry season, soaked in a river or a pond for as much as a month, and then dehydrated. Eaten plain, they evoke chalk and blue cheese.
- •Maíz moradoKormann describes these as “purple corn with kernels like gumballs.”
- •PacayThis resembles an oversized bean pod stuffed with pearly gauze. Seidler says, “It’s like cotton candy.”
- •PapalisaThese are the Liberace of potatoes. They can be baby blue, pale pink, or butter yellow with fuchsia polka dots (pictured here). Bolivia has more than a thousand cultivated varieties of potatoes, along with dozens of wild species. People have been growing them for millennia on the altiplano, where the bizarre tubers’ funk and color enliven the bleak terrain.