Drying potatoes is an ancient way used to this day in Peru to preserve these crop. To do it, potatoes are first cooked in boiling water, drained, peeled, and cut in medium dices or thin sticks. Then these pieces are sun-dried until they lose all their moisture and look like small crystals. After this process, they are ready to be stored for a very long time (more than a year). When buying papa seca choose the ones with a yellowish color, because it is believed they are of better quality than the pale or brown ones. You can buy them in bulk at any Peruvian market, or in the supermarkets where they are sold already packed. Store them at room temperature.
Papa seca is the main ingredient used for the famous dish called Carapulcra. Sometimes, a mix of fresh and dried potatoes is used. This sturdy entree is very traditional, and is made with pork meat and chocolate. The side dish for this is called Sopa Seca (dry soup!), which is made with noodles.