San Pedro Market – Cusco, Peru

The San Pedro Market in Cusco, Peru is a huge, open air market that operates every day of the week. The building itself is one block long and three blocks wide. Vendors are squeezed into every bit of space. Bustling with energy and filled with the sights and smells of traditional Cusco, it offers a huge variety of interesting items from fruits, vegetables, meats, breads, clothing, handicrafts, clothing, etc. You name it, San Pedro Market probably has it!

Our daughter took us to San Pedro on our second day in Peru.  The first time through was a little bit overwhelming with all of the sights, sounds, smells, and bustling.  It was hard to take it all in and really enjoy.  At the end of our two weeks of touring Peru we went back to San Pedro for a couple of more visits and really enjoyed browsing through.  It is such an interesting place with such diversity.  As I mentioned, you can get pretty much anything here.IMG_0043e1

There were several aisles with all kinds of fruits.

San Pedro-Fruits

We enjoyed sampling the grenadia (passion fruit), which is native to the Andes.  It has a great flavor once you get past the texture of the fruit itself. The outer shell is hard and slippery, and has soft padding on the interior to protect the seeds. The seeds, which are hard and black, are surrounded by a gelatinous sphere of transparent pulp. The pulp is the edible part of the fruit and has a soft sweet taste.

Grenadia

We also tried the chirimoya, which is also native to the Andes.  The fruit is fleshy and soft, sweet, white in color, with a sherbet-like texture, which gives it its secondary name, custard apple.  Some characterize the flavor as a blend of  banana, pineapple, papaya, peach, and strawberry.  Others describe it as tasting like bubblegum.

cherimoya

There were many other aisles of different foods including vegetables, breads, spices, beans and other dried goods.

San Pedro-bread

There were also many different aisles of meats, all non-refrigerated.

San Pedro-chickenChicken

IMG_11781Dried Alpaca Meat

IMG_11801Homemade Sausage

They use and sell all parts of animals.

San Pedro-Hog HeadsHog Heads

San Pedro-Hog HeadHog Head

San Pedro-cow snoutsCow Snouts

I would have liked to have taken more pictures, but felt somewhat odd snapping pictures in the local market.  There was an entire clothing section where both men and women were in their stalls sewing at sewing machines.  There was also an entire “food court” section where you could purchase various foods to eat and sit down and eat it right there.  Many things smelled good but we weren’t adventuresome enough to try anything.

San Pedro Market was certainly a great place to get a flavor for local Cusco!

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