Analysis: 'Las Papas' by Julio Ortega

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Las Papas
By ilyssa ye “Las Papas” is the story about a single man with a child. The story starts in the kitchen where the man was going to cook a dinner for his son and himself. He was about to try out a new Italian recipe for “Chicken cacciatore”, when he received a disapproving remark regarding the dish from his son. Having heard this he suddenly recalls similar event that had happened when he was fifteen and disapproved his father’s cooking by calling it “too spicy”. At the same moment peeling and chopping potatoes he realizes that even though he was born and grew up in Peru, the place where a potato-papas originated, he doesn’t know much about the history of this magnificent vegetable which grows underground without seeing a light and yet it tastes so good, and had been adopted by different cultures throughout the world and remains one of the main ingredients of dishes. In Julio Ortega’s short story “Las Papas”, the father tries to teach his child about history, culture, and family through his cultural food: the potatoes, by cooking them. The father in the short story tries to teach his son about history through the use of potato. Potatoes had originated in Peru, South America, and were adopted by local peoples of both North and South America before the arrival of the Europeans. Through such discoveries potatoes had been brought to Europe and other parts of the world where they were adopted and became one the main ingredients or dishes. The main character in the “Las Papas”- the man who wants to cook a dish with potatoes for his son which would tell him about the history and culture of people, their ancestors, who introduced potatoes to the rest of the world. “Many of them have disappeared forever. The ones that was lost had they been less firmly rooted in the soil? Where they more delicate varieties? Maybe they disappeared when control of the cultivated lands…that the loss of even one domesticated plant makes the word a little poorer, as does the

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