El Mercado

Fruit Vendor

From a Western point of view, it’s a little strange finding that there are very few supermarkets in Peru. Actually as far as I can tell, there is not a single one in Cusco. None. That means no sliced bread, no Captain Crunch for breakfast, no packaged meats, no TV dinners… Basically none of the lovely western pre-packaged foods, junk food, and comfort items we depend on. Instead, there are little corner shops everywhere filled with fruits and vegetables, crusty bread, and pasta (just the basics), and most people do their day-to-day shopping at whichever is closest to his door. Any real shopping however, is done at the local mercado– Here you can find literally anything you might think you need; From souvenirs to toilet paper, toothbrushes to tea, a massive assortment of fruits and vegetables, fresh milk, eggs, and cheeses, herbs of all kinds (including Ayahuasca; brewed or not, San Pedro, Yopo, and Coca), dry grains by the kilo, meats (chopped, skinned, or even still alive), bread, alpaca wool, and whatever else you can possibly think of- you can probably find it there. If by chance you come up with something that isn’t on the shelves of one of the literally hundreds of vendors, just wave a few soles around and I bet within a few hours an industrious merchant will find it for you.

When a knife just won't work...

Sacks of Grain

Milk and Cream, straight from the Cow.

Skinned Sheep

Cow mouths anyone?

Hidden in the Mess of Grain

All your Shamanistic Needs

Frogs: Fresh or Skinned

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2 Comments on "El Mercado"

  1. avatar
    Katie
    10/11/2010 at 19:55 Permalink

    What might one use a cow head for? Or a skinned frog?

  2. avatar
    Jason
    11/11/2010 at 00:46 Permalink

    Soup? Mmmm!

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