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December 15, 2005 Vol. 60 No. 23 Back to Bulletin Main Page

PERU: Giant White Corn of Cusco is Peru’s Second Geographical Indication


On September 26, 2005, the Peru Trademark Office granted registration of geographical indication to the Giant White Corn of Cusco. This is Peru’s second geographical indication registration. The application was supported by specialists who analyzed the geographic and historic elements that give this corn its particular characteristics.

The Giant White Corn of Cusco has the largest kernel in the world, and is produced only in specific districts of the provinces of Colca and Urubamba (the Sacred Valley of the Incas) in Cusco. It resists drastic climate changes and seems to be particularly resistant to plagues. Farmers dry the corn according to an ancient custom that requires a combination of frost at night and bright sunshine for 45 days, after which the kernels are removed.

The Giant White Corn of Cusco dates back to the Incas—there are words and traditional festivities that refer to the corn and the means of drying and using it. Although used in many Peruvian dishes, the Giant White Corn of Cusco is mostly exported as a snack.

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