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This purple maize is a sight to behold. Its deep purple kernels have a tender but crisp texture, and a sweet flavor.
Its color comes from the great amounts of anthocyanins, antioxidants that have the potential to fight obesity and help regulate insulin, therefore also fighting diabetes. It has anti-inflammatory properties, and can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Usually sold dried, Maiz Morado is usually soaked in hot water to yield the deep purple color, and used as dye, or as color for foods and beverages. It’s rarely eaten on its own in Peru, instead popularly used in recipes like bread, sorbets, puddings, and tortillas.
A very popular way to use Maiz Morado is to make Chicha Morada, a non-alcoholic beverage popular in Latin America. It’s very delicious, so refreshing, and not at all difficult to make.
Corn has been considered a sacred crop in the age of the Incas. A constant in Peruvian cuisine, purple maize was known by ancient cultures as the “plant of remembrance,” and all present strains come from an ancient purple corn called “Kculli.”
Maiz Morado is grown in the Peruvian Andes, at 10,000 to 15,000 above sea level. This harsh environment forces the crop to produce huge amounts of anthocyanins, which gives it its deep purple color. This is vital to the crop’s survival. This is also the reason this color is mostly lost when you plant purple corn outside of Peru.
Store in a cool, dry place.