Ark of taste
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Paico (Dysphania ambrosioides) is an aromatic plant also known by the name “amush” or “cashua”, a relative of quinoa and kiwicha.

It was common and already in use before Spanish dominion, especially among the indigenous population, who use still today for its curative objectives.

Paico can grow at altitudes between sea level and 4,000 metres above, and it adapts to both tropical and temperate climates; it grows spontaneously in the areas along cultivated fields, mostly corn and tubers. It propagates by seeding; indeed it is very important to know how to harvest paico correctly to guarantee its reproduction.

Paico is a plant with branches on which elongated, green leaves grow, containing small, black seeds.

The edible parts are the leaves and seeds: the former are used to make sauces, boiled like vegetables or added to soups, while the seeds are added to vegetable dishes. In popular medicine, paico is known for its digestive and anti-inflammatory properties.

It is not easily found outside local markets and is not well known, especially among younger generations who are unfamiliar with traditional know-how connected to using wild herbs.

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San Martin

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Spices, wild herbs and condiments

Nominated by:Dauro Mattia Zocchi, Rosa Terrones Silva, Indhira Medina Arribasplata