Ark of taste
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Achojcha (Cyclanthera pedata) – also said achocha, achojcha, achujcha, caygua, caigua, wild quishiu, caiaphas, caib, hollow cucumber, kaiku cucumber – is a creeping plant producing abundant edible fruit. This vegetable, high in fiber, was very important to ancient Andean cultures, and today it is still cultivated in small communities in northwestern Argentina, mainly in the province of Salta. It is consumed both cooked and raw in various dishes such as salads, stews, soups, stuffed with meat, cheese or other vegetables; it is also used in desserts and its leaves are edible as well.Achojcha has many medicinal properties, which are used in dietary regimes: the fruits can be used for lowering cholesterol and as diuretics and antibiotics, the leaves for their anti-inflammatory properties and the seeds as purgatives. It is considered easy to grow and can develop throughout the year, preferably in the cooler months; it requires several hours of sun and thrives in temperate environments, with humidity and temperatures between 12 to 18 º C. It can even be grown on marginal soils. It multiplies by seed and during its vegetative and reproductive phases, that is when about five months old, it should be thoroughly irrigated. The harvest is staggered, and it is done by cutting or tearing the stalk of fruits, taking care not to tear them. After the harvest, achojcha may be stored for up to 5 days without refrigeration and 15 days in a cool place at 7 ° C and 95% relative humidity. This plant is native to the Andes, in America. Since ancient times it has been cultivated and used as food, and it has also been represented in culture material. It comes from the area where Hispanic culture has spread, over the warm and warm-temperate valleys from Peru to northwestern Argentina, where it is now grown by traditional farming communities. Small amounts of achojcha fruits are still available in fall in the markets of Salta and Jujuy.

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Vegetables and vegetable preserves

Nominated by:Evangelina Aldana Gatti, Alfredo Hugo Cetrángolo e Julián Cámara Hernández