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Superfoods Peru Sacha inchi
Photograph: Courtesy of Trade Commission of Peru

Food Ticket: eat your way to Peru with sacha inchi

One of Peru’s best kept secrets

Time Out Hong Kong in partnership with Trade Commission of Peru

Knowledge of different native species and their properties have accumulated in Peru for over thousands of years, and these superfoods continue to be used in Indigenous communities today. One of the best kept secrets of the Amazon is sacha inchi, which has recently been making a name for itself in international markets. This star shaped fruit hides seeds that are full of protein, vitamins, and fatty acids.

RECOMMENDED: Eat your way to Peru with maca.

Photograph: Trade Commission of Peru

Sacha inchi is a star shaped fruit that grows on the vines of a plant native to the highlands of Peru. Under its thick outer husk are edible seeds packed with protein and vitamins, and are rich in omega-3 and omega-6  – hello important dietary fats! 

You’ll often hear sacha inchi seeds referred to as the bush peanut, mountain peanut, or Inca peanut, but they are not actually botanically related to the peanut at all. Its taste is similar to an almond, and while not classified as a nut, sacha inchi can be enjoyed like so – tossed in salads and trail mix, or enjoyed on their own, roasted with a bit of salt. Sacha inchi is a particularly great source of nutrients for those who follow a vegan or vegetarian diet. 

Photograph: Trade Commission of Peru

Sacha inchi oil – which is extracted by cold pressing the seeds – has also been hailed for its moisturising and skin rejuvenating properties. Thanks to its natural emollients and fatty acids, its benefits include reducing the appearance of fine lines and spots.

You can find sacha inchi seeds at retailers like HKTV Mall, Ali’s Aromatherapyand iHerb, and you can even buy them already roasted from Skywow. For those who want to reap this superfood’s skin plumping benefits, luxury French cosmetics and skincare brand Clarins has two products in its line that contain the restorative properties of sacha inchi. 

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