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myMEGusta

Named for things that please me (“me gusta” in Spanish) and rhymes with balabusta (Yiddish for “good homemaker”).

Mellow Yellow Potato: All For a Good Causa

Those Peruvian natives, potatoes, are among myMEGusta’s favorite foods, perhaps because of my Irish heritage, or because I just love these starchy tubers.

Yellow Potatoes

Yellow Potatoes

My most recent potato extravaganza was in Peru, where hundreds of varieties are grown, including nubby, funny shaped ones in various hues. Yellow ones are particularly popular, especially as an ingredient in causas, a kind of potato cake.

Astrid y Gaston Causas

Astrid y Gaston Causas

My first encounter with a causa was at Astrid y Gaston, one of Lima’s finest restaurants. It was a little risky (or crazy) to order such a simple dish at this temple of gastronomy, but the idea was intriguing. The caption on my cell phone photo reads “potato sushi”, since that’s exactly what they looked like, and I speculated that this dish might be some kind of fusion of Peruvian potatoes, the national staple, and the influence of Japanese immigrants.

Wrong!

Causas appear all over Peru. They are made with an infinite variety of fillings and toppings, and can be little, like the bite sized ones I first encountered, to a few inches in diameter to large (or small) rolls to pie size.

Casa Aliaga Causa

Casa Aliaga Causa

They can be found at the most upscale restaurants, and at the simplest tables, how the cake is shaped and the kind of garnish being the differentiating factors. Tomato and avocado are the most common garnishes I saw, both in Lima and in the Andes, but just about anything goes.

Pesdacos Capitales Causas

Pescados Capitales Causa

The common element is the yellow potato mixture created by mashing with seasonings like ground aji peppers (hot and yellow), lemon and mayonnaise, maybe a dash of mustard. The vibrant yellow potatoes which are always used in real causas are not available in the United States, but they are commonplace in Peru’s markets, and some stands even sell peeled, shredded potatoes ready to cook and mash.

Regardless of the potato fakery, causas are within our capacity stateside, and they’re actually fun to make, and tasty, even if not so authentic!

Copnnecticut Causas

Connecticut Causas

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4 thoughts on “Mellow Yellow Potato: All For a Good Causa

  1. Anne Tornillo on said:

    Interesting and entertaining as always!

  2. rugai@aol.com on said:

    Are the Pescados made with fish? Did you make the CT Causas? Good posting!………j

  3. Pescados Capitales is a play on words: Google translates it as Fish Capitals, and the literal translation is Capital Sins. And their website http://www.pescadoscapitales.com has fun with this! The food was fabulous, by the way.
    Yes, the Connecticut Causas were myMEGusta’s attempt at replicating this little delicacy. Without the correct potato, it wasn’t perfect, but mightly tasty, and fun to make.

  4. Nice to learn something new, I never heard about causas. I travelled through parts of Peru and found chuños and cuy. I will make causas and will use Yukon Gold potatoes.

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