Markets of Cusco

Something I find absolutely wonderful about Peru is the availability of fresh food from meat to cheese to fruits and veggies. You can also find art, flowers, fruit juice stands, lunch, and hardware shop supplies in the markets at a very good price. I find that most people here do not shop in one fell swoop like they do in the States. There is no Wal-Mart or Target or Superstores of any type in Cusco. (There is talk of putting in a Walmart in Surco in Lima and in Arequipa very soon but that is another story.) That means that one must go to various places to find everything they need and since most people don’t have cars in Cusco, people buy what they can carry. It means more trips during the month but it’s a small price to pay for getting such delicious cheap food!

I have never bought meat in the market only because I am somewhat weary about meat not being refrigerated after it has been cut and sliced. It’s nice to see that the meat is actually coming from the animal you see with your own eyes unlike in the States where no one really knows what is put into the meat (i.e. pink slime).

Cereals are gems of the Andes. Quinoa, kiwicha, cañihua, maca, avena, and trigo are just a few and you can get them in all different forms. You can get them whole, puffed, powdered, and in flakes!

Cheese!! Sure, it might be unpasteurized but it’s so tasty! All of the cheese you see that is in plastic is pasteurized and the blocks that are not in plastic are not. I found a really good cheese with some herbs and spices in it which is a bit costly (22 soles a wheel). It is worth it though! Most blocks cost about 12 soles.

There are places to eat and drink as well. This picture shows the fruit juice stands. You can get a half liter of fresh juice from 3-5 soles. Not bad! My favorite is strawberry and milk.

This lady gave me all the veggies I needed for the week for 12 soles. The bright orange pepper above the tomatoes is aji amarillo and it’s absolutely delicious. Peruvian food is known for its use of aji and I couldn’t be happier to have it on a daily basis. It’s not too hot and it’s got great flavor!

Amy Brown

My name is Amy Brown and I have been living in Cusco Peru since August 2010. I taught English and I am now teaching violin. I love going on adventures and I play in a two bands here in Cusco. I graduated from Denison University in Ohio in 2009 majoring in Spanish and Communication.

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