EL FORO DE LA PAPA: LAS PAPAS DE ALTAMIRAS, CON ALBERTO FERRUZ
In 2017 Santa Cruz de Tenerife hosted its first Foro de la Papa designed to complement a biennial scientific congress held at Peru’s Centro de Investigación de la Papa (CIP). The Canarian Forum emphasises instead the potato’s arrival in Europe and today’s wider links between gastronomy and the tuber’s nutritional potential. For 2019’s edition Julia Pérez Lozano of Gastroactitud took a wide-angled view of all that, inviting chefs from Peru, Morocco, Italy, Ireland and Portugal as well as Tenerife and mainland Spain. Julia invited me to copresent Altamiras’s 1745 potato recipes, working with chef Alberto Ferruz of Bon Amb in Javea, Alicante, who flew in for six hours with cochef Pedro Gómez Pallarés. Working from historical notes Alberto came up with old and new versions of Criadillas de tierra de otro modo, a recipe adapted by Altamiras from a 17th-century courtly dish for truffles. The recipe’s an indicator of Spain’s early gastronomic appreciation for the potato decades before Parmentier took his famous campaign to Versailles. Alberto’s approach to recreating Altamiras is grounded in his own family’s food culture: he grew up in Cariñena in Altamiras’s homeland and his modern version of the original recipe is, he says, a dish in progress.
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(Cover photo, courtesy of José Luis Conde Miranda and Carmen Ruano Villalba.)