Just when you thought Peru couldn’t possibly fuse any more traditional foods of its immigrant communities with indigenous ingredients to create something new, original and mouth-wateringly tasty… along comes the Papanetón.
Born out of a recent push to convert Peruvians from the wheat eaters they are now to the potato eaters they used to be, mostly for economic reasons (reducing imports, increasing domestic potato consumption, aiding Andean farmers and reducing costs for everyone), Peru has taken the Italian desert Panetón (Panettone) it consumes tonnes of every Christmas and Peruvianized it.
Papapan, or Pan de Papa, Potato Bread in English (bread made from potato flour rather than wheat), is growing in popularity due to its superior softness, taste and nutritional value. It is found in all major supermarkets, from Wong to Plaza Vea, and costs either the same or less than normal bread. And perhaps most importantly, Andean potato growers benefit greatly from the extra income. Papapan is now feeding and nutritioning the rich and poor of Peru alike,
while as usual the outside world ignores these events despite talk of a food crisis.
Panetón, as described here, is widely enjoyed in Peru around Christmas. But I doubt I’ll be buying as much now that I’ve tried the version made from potato flour. Softer, spongier and tastier. It’s even cheaper!
Launched with the support of the Government via Andean export promotor Sierra Exportador, the Papanetón is being carried by Plaza Vea nationwide. If you live outside Peru, you might want to order some from here.