Posted by Vi Warkentin on
Cusco - Mercado Central (Central Market) is located near the San Pedro train station. This market has it ALL under one massive roof - produce, food, household items, food stalls, juice vendors (yum)….you name it, you’ll find it!
We arrived around 10:45 AM so I’m sure most of the hustle-bustle of the market had already subsided for that morning. There was a group of six of us that dropped by, what seemed like, a sea of fruit stands - every vendor clamoring to get our attention to choose them to make our fruit smoothies. With the variety of fruits available, it was hard to make a decision on what kind of smoothie to get but usually mango wins out with me! So, a mango/banana smoothie it was. Presented in a lovely a plastic bag with a straw to go! (Yes, you can get your smoothie in a glass but you need to sit there, drink it and return the glass).
Across from the juice vendors was an area for household items, against the far wall was an assortment of shopping bags, clothing for everyone, toys for children etc. Then a large area for meat and seafood - the stand to the left here specializes in all things pig.
Fantastic fragrances wafted from these brightly coloured blossoms that lined the shelves of the flower stalls.
A hardworking Peruvian sets up an impromptu stall near one of the side doors of the market.
Among the vast array of produce, these corn cobs had massive kernels.
Dried potatoes - Chuño (or tunta) have fed peruvian families for thousands of years. Interesting description here of how dried potatoes are made. An ancient and still very popular peruvian dish is Carapulcra - Dried Potatoes with Pork. It may be considered the oldest peruvian stew - contains dried potatoes, chilies, peanuts,cumin and pork (chicken is often used as well). Traditionally it would be cooked in clay pots - it’s also still prepared this way at some restaurants.
Caviar, anyone? Caviar will often be served at festival feasts where your party plate could consist of such foods as chicken, guinea pig (cuy), seaweed, queso (cheese), chorizos (pork sausage), dried corn, lamb jerkey and, of course, caviar.
A very inexpensive and delicious meal can be had at the many food stations throughout the market. Just pull up a chair and dig in! To me this looked like a aguadito de pollo station (peruvian chicken soup).
Day 7 - Friendly Planet - Amazing Peru Tour