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Type Doughnut
Place of origin Peru, Chile
Main ingredients Squash, sweet potatoes, chancaca syrup
Cookbook: Picarones  Media: Picarones

Picarones is a Peruvian and Chilean dessert that originated in the colonial period. Its principal ingredients are squash and sweet potato. It is served in a doughnut form and covered with syrup, made from chancaca (solidified molasses). It is traditional to serve picarones when people prepare anticuchos, another traditional Peruvian dish. Picarones were created during the colonial period to replace Buñuelos as buñuelos were too expensive to make. People started replacing traditional ingredients with squash and sweet potato. Accidentally, they created a new dessert that rapidly increased in popularity throughout the country.

Picarones are also mentioned in the book of a famous Peruvian writer, Ricardo Palma. In his book, Tradiciones Peruanas, (lit. Peruvian traditions) he mentions this dessert. Picarones is also featured in traditional Peruvian music and poetry.

This dessert is also mentioned in the autobiographical memoirs Remembrances of thirty years (1810-1840) (Spanish: Recuerdos de treinta años (1810-1840)) by Chilean José Zapiola, who described that picarones were typically eaten in Plaza de Armas de Santiago (Chile) before 1810.[1]

Recently a company has produced a Picarones mix.


  1. ^ Zapiola, José (1872). "Chapter II La policía de aseo i salubridad". Recuerdos de treinta años (1810-1840) (in Spanish). I & II (1st ed.). Santiago, Chile: Imprenta de El Independiente. p. 12. Retrieved 12 July 2015.