San Pedro Market - Cusco, Peru
This is a covered, daily open-air market for the citizens of Cusco. Yes, there are a couple of Supermarkets in Cusco, similar to North American supermarkets, but you'll just buy processed food there. This is where the real food is sold. The market is about three blocks long, and a wide one block wide, so about the size of a soccer field but longer, and it has a roof overhead. Remember, this city is more than 11,000 feet above sea level, so it never gets very hot, but this is all fresh open air market stuff, and no refrigeration. And even amidst all the meat and seafood? Not a whiff of anything "off" or "rank." All very fresh. What boggles the mind is that each of these vendors closes down their stand every evening and go home, and bring all fresh stuff the next morning in the dark. We are talking about MASSIVE inventories of goods, brought each day and taken away each night. Another note: this market is usually not on the Standard Tour of Cusco, so tourists don't usually show up here. We were just as much of a novelty to them that their goods and presentations were to us. This is also not a crime area, so it was very safe to just wander through with expensive cameras and such. I bought 1 kilo of great Peruvian coffee, and that was all, unfortunately. Some in our group bought some really good bread, but we didn't purchase much overall. Just a beautiful presentation of food. Imagine a fruit section like imaged below in your local Super Valu store? Or how about more than 300 varieties of potatoes?
February 18, 2009