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Tocosh (also known as togosh or tocos) is a traditional Quechua food prepared from fermented potato pulp (maize is less common). It is often prepared for celebration events and has a strong odor and flavor. Tocosh can be used as a natural antibiotic because penicillin is produced during the fermentation process. [1] Medicinally it is used for the common cold, gastric ulcers, pneumonia, and altitude sickness among others. The Incas believed it was a gift from Inti, the sun god, for preservation of the body.


The fermentation process of creating tocosh was discovered by the Incas (or possibly one of the many cultures in their empire). Fermentation is achieved by placing either potato pulp or maize in a mesh bag of grass, covered with stones, and left undisturbed for six to twelve months within a pool of water where there is a current (the pool usually found naturally or dug on the banks of a stream). The current flows through the stones to wash away bacteria during fermentation. Once fermentation has occurred, the tocosh is dried in the sun and stored for future use.

The most common preparation in the Huánuco region of Peru is to make a mazamorra or jelly-like dessert. [2]


The word tocosh derives from the word tuqush, a Quechua word that means 'wrinkled and fermented'. [3]

Economic and cultural significance

Medical uses

Tocosh can be used as a natural antibiotic because the penicillin is produced during the fermentation process [4] and is also able to protect the gastric mucosa from damage or inflammation. Traditionally this product is used in postpartum, colds, pneumonia, in wound healing, as an antibacterial, hemorrhoid and gastric ulcer healing, to prevent gastrointestinal infections and acute altitude sickness. It could also be an effective and very low-cost antibiotic, energizer, and probiotic. [4]

Corn tocosh is also made under the same process, but does not have the same properties as potato tocosh. The result of the analysis of the chemical composition, fatty acids of the lipid fraction; free amino acids; macro and micro elements; of the vitamins thiamine and riboflavin, lead to considering it as a food that provides essential amino acids in the form of AA. Free.[ clarification needed ] The characteristic of its process allows the nutrients to be found in simpler, easily assimilated fractions. It also increases the linoleic and calcium content, and can be recommended as a complementary food for children.

In Peru, the three traditional tocosh-producing regions are Ancash, Huánuco and Junín.


A hole 1.5 m (4 ft 11 in) deep and 1 m (3 ft 3 in) in diameter is dug in the ground. The bottom and walls are covered with a lot of ichu, a type of grass. Then, the well is filled with potatoes, placing a new layer of grass after every 30 cm (12 in) of potatoes. When the well is full, it is covered with a final blanket of grass and topped with stones. Finally, through a small acequia – a canal – the well is filled with water; water is allowed to run permanently through the well. It is left like this for a period ranging from four months to two years. When a foam with a strong rotten smell rises between the stones and the grass on the surface, it is ready to be collected. The food is then dried in the sun and is ready for consumption. [5]

See also

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  1. ESTUDIO DEL EFECTO DE TOCOSH DE PAPA COMO PROBIÓTICO EN EL CONTROL DEL PESO CORPORAL Y MAYOR CRECIMIENTO EN RATAS JOVENES FRENTE A CULTIVO DE Lactobacillus acidophillus (in Spanish), Santa Anita District, Peru: Universidad de San Martín de Porres, 2005, archived from the original on 2011-09-27, retrieved 2010-04-08
  2. Serkovic, Santos James (2003), Gastronomía Huanuqueña (in Spanish)
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  4. 1 2 Mori, P. y Malena, M. (2005). Estudio del efecto de Tocosh de papa como probiótico en el control del peso corporal y mayor crecimiento en ratas jóvenes frente a cultivo de Lactobacillus acidophillus. [Study of the effect of potato Tocosh as a probiotic in the control of body weight and greater growth in young rats against Lactobacillus acidophillus culture.] En: Resúmenes del V Congreso mundial de medicina tradicional.(in Spanish) Lima, 22-24 abril, 2005.
  5. Zúñiga Sarmiento, Redrik Alexis (2018). "Producción De Pan A Partir De Tocosh De Papa (Solanum Tuberosum) Para El Mercado Nacional" [Bread production from Potato Tocosh (Solanum Tuberosum) for the National Market.]. Universidad César Vallejo (in Spanish).