Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

This inland country was once part of the Inca Empire; see inca food. It was then called Alto Peru and, true to that name, is high in the Altiplano that stretches east from the border lake Titicaca, and even higher in the true Andes beyond, before swooping down to a moist and barely explored jungle in the Oriente region. If the staple crop of the Altiplano is the potato, then the coca bush might seem the most important in the high mountains, for the leaves counteract altitude sickness, and the jungle will supply the full gamut of tropical produce, from cassava to sweet potato and coconut.