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Posts tagged ‘andes’

Quinoto, the greatest invention since risotto…

July 20th, 2009

During our missions in Peru for the Tika papa project, for the biodiversity of potato in its’ country of origin, one good alternativ  to potato from time to time in our plates, as well as for agriculture, is the quinoa.


QUINOA : a great cereal from the Andes Cordillera. Its grains have proteins close to animal proteins. It is therefore very nourishing and has no gluten like in wheat and so does not make you fat…

But here in Peru tquinoa was always served like a side dish, dull, needing a dip sauce like a couscous. Always the same thing. So some 5 years ago we decided that a new standard dish was needed in the young “nueva cocina andina”, the nouvelle cuisine from the Andes, of which the chef Gaston is the Pope.


The principle is simple : cook the quinoa al dente in water and finish it in a concentrated broth; because quinoa cant cook in the broth directly and does not swell enough to be creamy as a risotto.

So here is to start with this new series of unpublished recipies : the “Eat All Sprout Quinotto”.

rinse and boil your grains of quinoa. You will rinse it to get rid of the slight saponines it has just like you do with a starched rice. Cook until al dente . The easiest way is t use a autocoocker, the classic chinese rice coocker. Same amount of water than grains, if you have a lot of calcar put half an inch more.

Meanwhile friepan your green peas, flat beans, celery, with Mexican Ancho chile, Fu Quock pepper, ginger, salt, garlic chives…mangetout

Reduce the chicken or veggy broth. mix it and drye it with the al dente quinoa. Use only organic veggies so you can use the peals to make your broth. Mix with the veggies. Make it reduce without overcooking the veggies, to get a creamy quinotto with crispy veggies.

How to treat yourself sanely by eating good stuff : to bring the final touch of freshness and slight bitter mustardy fizzy surprise; just before serving add some sprouts of mustard, red cabbage and broccoli. These sprouts are a concentrate of vital elements and antioxydants. Excellent for your health and recommanded to fight against cancer.


Agriculture Design Assignment – Argentina 4 / How a fair understanding of nature’s biodiversity could help farmers. wild or cultivated essential oils, medicinals or ornementals

March 24th, 2009


This dense scrubland was considered as bad, against breeding and agriculture. In fact it is a living treasure :

It has more than ten varieties of colibris and hummingbirds (far to difficult to get a picture of), not to mention all kind of eagles, vultures and six nest of the big condor… as well as a couple of spectacular big kari bustards of which the male is over 4 feet high. You have wild “quaras” as well, the small wild llamas and big cats “cougars” which share the territory.


When one handle cattle, the puma can be a great help as well : the cows know how to fight it but its presence maintain it in a permanent alert and make it move. When the puma plays its’ role properly, it is a great help to avoid over pasture, while cleaning at the same time and eliminating the wounded and diseased cattle.

Nature plays its’ role. One must observe, understand and let be.

Let us come back to the richness of this chaotic place invaded by smalla acacias. First its biodiversity :

We are on the original cradle of tabocco, its’ original biome. You have taboccos of any kind and shape here and Diana who decided to stop smoking each time she picked a plant… it was a tabacco. Here are some photos of this sacred plant…




We start by this sacred plant which is intermediary between man and Gods, which intercedes for peace at the table of the angels; the plant which is pollinated by the hummingbirds. One must protect tobacco at any price to shelter the magical bird (Tobacco glauca on the high left can be smoked withou fermentation). In the US and Canada Indian tribes are trying to find back the meaning and the spirit of this sacred plant. Stop smoking to link back with the true rite of tobacco is a way to find back the foundation of their culture, their identity. This plant is man.



Now essential oils : first the arbustiv verveina, Aloisia sp., the one which was the fortune of the perfume maker of Grasse in France, l’Eau du Coq, l’Eau de Cologne… in the XVIII century this plant has been introduced on the banks of the Mediterranee. Here we are on the original biome, where the strength and the wide palette of the perfume expresses itself at its’ utmost. Here we are in front of tons of olfactiv treasures; production can start whenever. But it has to be with a sustainable way, to keep its’ wild strength. The essential oil must be produce with the French techniques with steam being very cautious that the oil is preserved from heat once it is extracted not to become carcinogenous. Extracts from the other plants above will be analysed with the help of the university of Tucuman to have an idea of the composition and the interest of heir essential oils.



Wild food are numerous on this territory, some of them are some of the most important of all human food: the wild potato, the origine of all potatoes in the world, the wild pumpkin, wild peas, wild garlic… the Andes elder tree which is here an impressive tree, the delicious Berberis, the wild peaches, the wild radish, and among all the now famous maca of the Andes, the funny aphrodisiac turnip with its bitter chocolate taste, the most concentrated vegetable in minerals and vitamins, for which everyday there is a bigger market in the world…


And splendour! over the top of the lapachos, Uncaria tomentosa, cat’s claw, which have the delicacy to alternate its bright yellow flowers with the pink flowers of the lapacho, the emblematic tree of North West Argentina. Both of these plants are concidered as a priority for the World Health Organisation to produce medicine against cancer. The production of these two plants can be a perfect example of permaculture.



white and red Begonia, hypomeas, arum, uncarias, solenaceas, cacti, lianas, creepers… so many wild plants that we are familiar to in our European gardens. Apparently thare are many more left to be tamed…

Like this huge arbustiv jasmin, Mandevilla sp., whith its tantalizing fragrances…


There is not only cattle, soja and cereal to be produced in the world! It seems that Argentina only knows these boaring productions. One must be attentive to nature and it will open new horizons. This is all the art of agriculture design. Create products and productions which can seduce neew markets away from the usual distributors and the standard agriculture market, insecure and unpersonal.

The “Tika Papa” project : 3 international medals for food security and development

March 18th, 2009

Since 2004 we are consultants for the T’ikapapa project in the Andes to support

fao-med-filteredin  Peru, the origin of the potato and its’ biodiversity. We are working on its’ dvelopment, its’ organic agriculture, fairtrade, the creation of product lines, design and esthetic, its’ distribution.

Tika Papa has been granted with 3 international awards for the environment and development among the most prestigious in the world.

The 2006 Gold Medal of the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation) for food security.

The SEED AWARD 2007 from the United Nations, the UNDP and the UNEP (UN Programmes for Development and Environment)seed award

The NEWSWEEK & BBC WORLD CHALLENGE 2007 elected by the viewers best development project of the year.

bbc_world.news_week-filteredbbc world challenge

The origin of potatoe

December 2nd, 2008
droppedimage1Here is a potato field… this is the true cradle of the potato ! We are at 4200m on the Andean plateaux. The potatoes have just been sown. This morning we had a slight snow. In two month what you see there will be totally buoyant with green vegetation… not to be eaten because the eatable thing will still be hidden beneath the ground. We are between Huancayo and Huancavelica in the centre of Peru. Just after the ridge of mountains you see in the back, starts the amazonian forest… On the particular spot we are standing on, the potato has been cultivated for 8000 years…
Potato is native from Perou. There are more the 2000 varieties in the Andes. Its genuine terroir gives its authentic taste. The extreme climate between 3500m and 5000m, brings its unique qualities of vitamin C and anti-oxydants. Perou is now proud to introduce the first end products made from its fabulous biodiversity and the gourmet heritage of the small andine farmers since long before the Inkas.
2008 has been declared “International Year of the Potato” by the UN, potato as an example of sustainable development and fair trade. Our project Tikka Papa is the example that fair trade can go with food security : the small producers sell their production surplus and can eat the rest… which is just the opposite of the actual labeled fair trade which deals today at 70% with coffee and cocao mostly for export and cannot be eaten by them… This is why we dont ask for a fair trade label until we are not convinced things will evolve… Though the project relies on an association of 8000 small producers, lead by them, in which we only come as advisers for agriculture and market prospectives…

The Collection : the Ande’s mash

October 15th, 2008

The authentic taste of potato at its’ very origine…


We are in the very native biotope of the potato. At last we can taste of the first potatoes as the first Europeans who discovered it in Peru in 1532, thanks to the Inkas of the Andes.

With TIKA PAPA we have created a line of product, fun and full of beans, colours and surprises for the palate of the most demanding gourmets, thanks to the most incredible biodiversity in the world whith over 250 varieties still cultivated by the 8000 small producers we are working with, betwin 3500/5000m high in the heart of the Cordillera :



100% ORGANIC, no pesticide, No added colour, no additive of any sorte.
We left the skin of the potato in order to keep its’ authentic aroma but above all, all the goodies for the health, its’ vitamin C, its’ calcium, its’ phosphore, its’ natural antioxydants which are in higher quantities than in any other potatoe due to the extreme heights and pure conditions of culture.

Then they are processed with extreme attention so as to preserve 80% of the goodies of the fresh potatoe.

Each colour has its’ specific taste and texture for the greatest joy of the gourmets :

- the yellow potato is the mythical potatoes dreamt by the most exigent gourmets of the world ; it is slightly sweet and onctuous . Once tasted, you can will never forget it.

- The red potato, with red flesh, is spécific to Peru – the Conquistadores just forgot to import it – it is more aromatic, sweet, with a slightly balsamic taste. It has a stronger texture and personality than the yellow potato. It is the one the children prefer.

- the blue potato, it is the most creativ: the less sweet, with more texture than the others which allows more creativity. It strikes by it’s intense colour which allows playing with stronger aromatic notes and texture.