Magdalena Market – Lima open market shopping

Oct 17


Today we visited the Magdalena Market in Peru. This a typical Peruvian outdoor market where the locals go to get all of their goods. There are supermarkets in the wealthy areas but they are very expensive. In these markets it is important to know your source. You can see from all the meat and fish hanging and lying around in the open that this could present some problems. they eat all kinds of different things we wouldn’t think of touching. Guinea pigs for one. We watched them kill one (slit its throat). They eat chicken feet cow stomach, intestines and heart to name a few others. There are some interesting veggies as well. They have about 30 varieties of potatoes, a HUGE squash (can’t remember the name), many kinds of beans and grains and some of the largest kernels of corn I have ever seen. You can also find ground coca leaves and probably the leaves themselves in the market. I am not sure if it is legal to sell it or not. They put it in the yogurt for breakfast and they also have coca tea in most restaurants so I know that is legal. I think it is grown in the north near Columbia and also in the Cusco area. Notice the photo of me holding a large bag of ground Coca – just for some humor. I have tried the Coca tea and it just tastes like herbal tea to me. I don’t notice any different after drinking it. I think I will stick with my coffee. It is supposed to help with altitude sickness so they say I should drink it for 2 days prior to leaving for Cusco and while I am there. Maybe its a blood thinner or something. Anyway, back to the market. It was certainly a feast for some of the senses – smells and sights for sure. The corridors are very narrow – you may be able to tell this from the video (its bit shaky due to the tightness of the area). The vendors specialize – chicken only, beef only, grains, sundries, fish, cooked food (like little fast food counters), rabbits and guinea pigs, fruits and vegetables. There are very few that have more than one specialty – no WalMarts here! It is a giant maze of stalls winding around at least one city block. Then outside the food market are the other shops. They bootleg videos and you can buy just about any video for $1. You should see the ladies lingerie – for a Catholic country they are sure selling a lot of racy undies! Shoes, clothes, drugstores, candy stores, dog food stores, etc. All specialties. Its a a real zoo. If I get to go again I will try to write down more notes. It all went by so fast I am sure I am forgetting to cover a lot.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *