Chuño is and has been for centuries one of the staples of the highland andean diet. It's basically home-made freeze-dried potato. Violent daily temperature swings and aridity produce cycles of dry heat and cold, that allow you to freeze dry things up here. Chuño has an incredible shelf life. The incas stored it -- along with ch'arki, freeze dried meat, and origin of the word "jerky" -- in storehouses along their "highways", allowing their armies to travel light, and overcoming the necessity for constant supply lines on longer missions. Also allowed community stockpiling for food security/sufficiency that many andean people today can only dream of, dependent as they are on capitalist markets for foodstuffs. Ah, the good old days ... are you listening, Heartfield?
Tom Kruse Casilla 5812 / Cochabamba, Bolivia Tel/Fax: (591-4) 248242 Email: tkruse at albatros.cnb.net