Saturday, December 18, 2010

I Love Food! -and a bit about Cuzco shopping.

From Peru - Cuzco

Most of you know this.  I religiously go to the farmers market in San Francisco every weekend I'm in town.  I love the fresh fruits and veggies, and I love finding new ingredients and making interesting dishes.  The market is one of my favorite places not only because it's pretty, but also because I can't really feel guilty about buying food (like I can about buying myself a new pair of shoes that are smokin' hot ...but that I don't REALLY need).  
Once, when I discovered my grapes were missing from the refrigerator at work, I  sent out a really nice email to everyone at the company telling them all how much I love food and how sad I was that someone felt the need to take my grapes.  I know.  Freak!  

So, I knew coming to an under developed country that I wouldn't be able to eat all the foods I usually eat.  You can't drink the water, no ice, no fresh fruits and veggies unless they're washed in disinfectant and peeled, and you must be wary of any place that serves meat.  If there is no refrigerator, you probably shouldn't eat there.  Why?  Well, because manure, both human and animal, is the best and cheapest fertilizer.  Gross right.  I know. 
I figured I wouldn't have such a problem avoiding these things, there are ample versions of cooked veggies.....  Wrong.  I realize now, that I love love love fresh fruits and veggies, and every time I take a bite here, my mind wonders if I'll be sick tomorrow, or the next day.  I took the lettuce off the sandwiches I ate today, but I couldn't bear to throw away the tomatoes.  Hopefully they're fine... I guess we'll know tomorrow....  
We have found some really excellent places at which to eat.  Jacks has totally lame touristy American food, but it's clean - so far.  Two Nations has excellent Peruvian Australian fusion food, where Vince had Alpaca loin and I had excellent quinoa veggie soup.  I even had a fresh strawberry milkshake there, I know, playing with fire.  Tonight we found Juanito's sandwiches, I had the Pollo Cusquenio, chicken, cheese two Cuzco tamales, excellent special sauces, lettuce and tomatoes on awesome bread.  So damn good! 

From Peru - Cuzco
We also stopped by the central market today.  It's only like the San Francisco market in that it has fruits and veggies.  It sure ain't as pretty.  Of course I couldn't buy anything as I have no way of disinfecting it, but it was beautiful and interesting and gross. 
Meat hanging from hooks in the open air, chickens piled up awaiting their places in a Cusquenian traditional hangover chicken soup, rows of stalls offering juices, parfaits, frogs, and spices, and of course beautiful fruits and veggies.

From Peru - Cuzco

We then wandered through the non-gringo local shopping district.  Shopping is interestingly arranged in Cuzco.  There are streets with 20 hardware stores, little dark alleys of nails and wires and tape, and locks, and those weird electric shower heads.

From Peru - Cuzco

Then there are 15 shoe stores all in a row on the same street.  There's the street of banks, 15 in a row, full of policemen. The street of textiles, with towel fabric by the yard, lovely ribbons, silks, and scary polyesters all in a row.  It was nice to see the non-tourist area.  We were the only gringos there.  Check out the picasa photos for more market photos.  Adios!

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