Sunday, August 30, 2015

Peru: Mercado San Camilo

Fortunately, AG was much recovered by our second day in Arequipa, so we all went out to explore.  The real touristy thing to do was probably to do a day trip to Colca Canyon, but food was a higher priority for us, so that's what we did instead.

We dropped by Mercado San Camilo first because we can't seem to get enough of markets whenever we travel:


















But how could anyone?  Especially when there's so much to see:


















Fruit in foreign countries are always interesting to me.  Probably because they're usually much better than the apples and bananas that we typically find in the States.  Like this, for example:


















Most of the fruit vendors wanted us to buy by the kilo.  Luckily, we found one nice man who was willing to sell us just one fruit at a time.  He explained that this particular fruit is called chirimoya, then went a step further by cutting it up into slices for us:


















It was very custardy inside, with seed.  The look, texture, and taste were very much like a smooth sugar apple, which I'm much more familiar with.  That shouldn't be surprise because apparently the sugar apple and the chirimoya come from the same fruit family.

We also tried this melon, called pepino:























It looked pretty:


















But was kind of bland.

Apparently there are around 5000 types of potatoes in Peru.  I didn't even know 5000 types of potatoes existed.  That's rather frightening:


















The best aisle at the market was the fruit juice aisle.  Just a long stretch of ladies selling juice as far as the eye can see.

We got a strawberry, mango, passionfruit, and orange juice with maca powder (which is apparently some kind of superfood) and a chirimoya juice:


















What's great about juice stalls in Peruvian markets is that you basically get two juices for the price of one.  After the juice lady blends your juice of choice, she saves the leftover and tops off your glass after you finish the first glassful.  Both juices were delightful, but the chirimoya was amazing.

We decided to be adventurous and also order the especial completo or full special:























It included cerveza (beer), milk, egg, honey, maca powder, algarrobina (a type of syrupy sweetener), and fruit.  Super intense and definitely not for me.  Worth the S/.15 or $5?  I'm not sure...

AG couldn't stop eyeing the chicharron stall, so we had to make a stop:


















Good thing we did because that chicharron was so freakin' good:


















So much food for only S/.10 or around $3.

There was a lot of other dishes that we would've loved to try, but we wanted to save space for our next stop, the uni ceviche.  That's right.  Uni.  Ceviche.

Stay tuned for that.


Mercado San Camilo
418 Calle Pierola, Arequipa, Peru

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