Eat your way through San Pedro Mercado, Cusco Peru

Experience local life, culture, and delicious food at the San Pedro Mercado [Cascaparo, Cusco, Peru].

The market is very authentic, while there were certainly some tourists around it isn’t geared towards tourists at all, this is daily life in Cusco. As you’re walking around be aware of your surroundings (like you should always be), this is a densely populated space so don’t let a pick-pocket get the better of you. With that being said, this is one of the best markets I have ever been to and one of my favorite memories from the city. Don’t be surprised to find hanging organs,

llama fetuses strung up,

and things that may confuse you all together.

What you really want to try? The fruit selection is massive,

I picked whatever looked exotic to me and it sure was delicious.

Corn. Black corn is beautiful and different, but go to the lady churning out the hot corn and the cheese or – choclo con queso.

This very well may be the best corn you’ve ever eaten, but you’re not going to get through it in the typical typewriter fashion. The idea is to pluck each kernel out, portion a bit of cheese on it, and savor the bite.

So yummy! After the appetizer I was ready for a main course. I’m always a little hesitant to eat meat in a setting like this, so I went with a vegetarian soup and honestly I’m so glad that I did.

This bowl was sent straight from heaven. Freshest veggies with filling yucca and potato, the most savory broth, bright herbs – it was pure comfort. The soup couldn’t have been more than $2 and came from a husband and wife duo smiling ear to ear dancing to classical Peruvian music with their sweet children sitting counter-side. We crammed in elbow to elbow with the locals and didn’t leave a lick at the bottom of the bowl. Did you know that Peru grows over 4,000 varieties of potatoes? They come in a rainbow of colors – but these white ones grabbed my ojos.

I bought a satchel of them thinking for whatever reason these particular kind could be eaten raw, swearing up and down to Jeff that I’d heard about them on the travel or food channel. We went back and forth over it and the woman who sold them to us didn’t speak any English so she couldn’t be of help. Actually – far fewer people spoke any English than I would have ever expected. We bumped into two friendly cops and went over some sign language along with a few words and realized no, we cannot eat raw potatoes of any variety. So I thought we were out a few dollars, but we carried them around with us all day. When we got back to our AIRBNB, we were too exhausted to go out for dinner so we dined simply on our market potatoes! They were delicious and a wonderful memory.

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