Wednesday, March 4, 2015

DO YOU LIKE MARKETS? WE DO

Whenever we visit a new town we ask two questions. Is there a Botanical garden and is there a produce market? We have visited markets all over the world. I didn't see any other westerners at the fish market in Dubai and those that have never been are missing a treat of a lifetime? If you like fish that is.
On our recent trip we had the chance to visit two city markets and one garden but my favorite market was the one in Cusco, Peru.


In Cusco the market is where the residents do all their food shopping. Don't expect to find fancy supermarkets in this town. There are no isles of prepared and packaged food, canned goods. Just whole foods.


Let's look at the potatoes first. You probably know that potatoes came from South America. I have never seen so many different varieties. We didn't get to see all 3800 kinds but there was a good sampling in this market including these strange white potatoes. Known as Chuno, they have been treated to a process of freezing and then drying in the sun. The process dates back to pre Inca times and was a way to treat the potatoes to prevent them from growing mold in storage.


Along with corn these are one of the main staples of the Inka Peruvian diet.



Along with lima beans.


In one Andean village we bought a packet of dried lima beans. I could OD on these.


And back to the market, sacs of grains and pulses.



If you need to season your pot of beans you might like to add a little dried seaweed for flavor.


and some other fruits of the sea.


There were stalls of herbs and packages of roots and herbs.



And even the big pots in which to cook everything.


This area is famous for it bread. One of our guides told us he always takes this bread when he goes to visit family in Lima.



And there are cheeses to go with the bread.



There are the inevitable herbal medicine stalls. We see those wherever we go and can only be left to guess at how they use the products they are selling. Dried starfish?


And little pots in which to assemble your concoction.


I get the feeling that if you use this bag of dried shavings it will bring you wealth but not sure if you burn it or boil it.


And who knows what these are for.


We lingered at this medicine stall where David got a full explanation of what they were selling in a refilled coke bottle. It was some kind of green herbal mix. I wouldn't be touching that with a barge pole. While we were standing there two young westerners came by to buy a couple of bottles! Was it going to help them hike the Inca Trail, I wonder.


The shop owner gave me these rounds of some root for luck. Although I accepted there was no way I was taking those back into the USA. Those dogs at customs would have that sniffed them out in a second.


These were the roots from which they had been cut.


No, I was far more interested in buying one of these decorated gourd rattles to weave my magic.


Back to the fruit stalls. Every fruit under the sun and so fresh and delicious.


And a row of fruit juice stalls. We had so much fresh fruit juice we are spoilt for life.


What a wonderful morning we spent at the San Pedro market.

16 comments:

  1. Jenny, this is my favorite travel post in a long time! One of those magical spots where everything you point the camera at combines to create an amazing photo. I wish this type of market was more common here in the US. Thanks so much for sharing this!

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    1. Thank you Alan. I'm glad you enjoyed it. You are so right. I could have taken many more photos but am often embarrassed to be taking photos of people and some of the things they sell.

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  2. It looks so wonderful and colorful. We enjoy finding those local places wherever we go as well. You had such an interesting trip I can't wait to see more.

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  3. How interesting that must have been, and tasty!

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  4. What a treat! I could almost hear and smell everything (very little tasting though, thank you very much). We visited a lot of markets when we were in Italy, but come to think of it none when we were in London. I don't even remember seeing one.

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    1. I agree. I am always a little nervous of tasting things for fear of getting an upset stomach. It's ages since i have ben to markets in England but I think you have to get up early for Covent Garden and Smithfield.

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  5. Wow oh wow. These photos are breathtaking, Jenny. They really convey not just the appearance but the atmosphere to the viewer. I can practically feel the chill in the open air while hearing the chattering laughter of vendors, and smelling a medley of aromas wafting around the stalls as various concoctions are brewed and bottled. This market is surely a wonder unto itself and yet has so much in common with all markets world wide. Thanks so much for sharing your time there!

    It is a bit sad you had to leave your good luck root bits behind, but perhaps shaking your gourd rattle at the sky will do. (Favor? While you're at it - shake a little more rain out for our area? Thanks again...).

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  6. You guys could start your own travel tour group with the knowledge you've garnered during your travels. I'd sign up!

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    1. I could do England for sure but then so many are already doing it. I look at what they charge and think-wow, that is way too much.

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  7. What a cool looking market! I love stopping into markets when we travel too. The best one so far was the La Boqueria in Barcelona, Spain. I really enjoyed seeing what the locals eat and taking it all in. It's just fascinating. I'm always nervous about buying stuff myself, but that juice sounds wonderful and pretty safe.

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    1. Yes, the market in Barcelona is also a wonderful pace to visit. We sat ourselves down at the Tapas bar and enjoyed lunch with the locals. I'm sure the juice was safe but we had so much at our hotel and I was thinking of how many calories were in each glass. I wonder why we can't do inexpensive juices like other countries? In Turkey they charged 1 euro a glass for fresh squeezed pomegranate juice. It was wonderful.

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  8. Wonderful photos! I have been to Cusco and loved it. Don't miss the Cusco cathedral's last supper painting with Jesus enjoying a platter of cuy (guinea pig). For what it's worth, I would totally sign up for a tour to England if you lead it. - Sonia

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    1. Oh yes we did go into the cathedral and had a wonderful young man give us a tour. He was waiting outside looking for customers and we decided to use him. What made it so great was he was very clearly spoken which made it very easy for D to hear every word. And yes we did see the last supper painting with the guinea pig on the plate. Such an interesting history of how the Spanish destroyed, or rather thought they had destroyed, the Inca beliefs.

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  9. What a wonderful place! Great to see all those potatoes, coincidentally today is the day I started chitting mine. Such an inspiration in that market.

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    1. I would love to comment on your blog Ruth but do not want to set up a google+ profile. Sorry

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  10. Thanks for sharing all that color. I'm pretty adventurous, but would be leery of trying some of that too. It's a staple of travel shows for locals to feed westerners "local delicacies". I think it is an inside joke to make them eat the most disgusting things, seeing if they will be polite enough to do so and not say anything.

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