Archeologists have discovered signs of potato cultivation as early as 9,000 years ago in the Andean valley. Researchers believe that people first domesticated the wild tuber on the shores of Lake Titicaca, along the borders of modern-day Peru and Bolivia. These early inhabitants bred yellow potatoes and white potatoes, fat ones and skinny ones, and gave them memorable names: “Flat like a cow’s tongue”; “Like a woman with the colors of a condor’s neck”; and “Makes the daughter-in-law weep.” By the time Spanish conquistadors arrived in the 16th century, the potato was the staple of the Andes. It was the stuff of legends; a god covered in dirt … but endowed .. with magical powers.
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