Markets are the heart of a place. The sights and sounds, the smells, the tastes. You can feel the heartbeat of a place and the people who live there when you go to a local market. When we arrived in Cusco, the first place we tracked down was the bustling local market, Mercado Central de San Pedro.
We were rewarded with stalls literally overflowing with vibrant and exotic fruit, all the freshly squeezed juice I could dream of, and a peek into the everyday life of local Peruvians. We saw stacks on stacks of Andean cheeses, slabs of alpaca jerky, bins spilling over with quinoa, and more types of corn than I’ve ever seen.
The women working at the market were remarkable too. Women of all ages, busy selling their wares, cooking, gossiping, even butchering and handling all sorts of offal without the slightest sense of trepidation. Strong, hardworking, and fearless these Peruvian women are.
Come, take a stroll through the market with me and see for yourself!
Warning: some images from the offal aisle are pretty graphic, so avert your eyes if animal parts make you queasy. You gotta hand it to them though, they really use every part of the animal!