One of the things our students always love about Peru during the time they are learning Spanish in Peru, is the great variety of vegetables and fruits, and the high quality of food in general. No wonder, as Peru is one of the booming cuisines worldwide for several years now.
Since the country has so many different landscapes and climates, there is a great variety of vegetation. The fruit stalls in the markets in Cusco are, therefore, a beautiful and colorful exposition.
Aguaymanto, Chiromoya, Tumbo and Tuna
Some of the beautiful Peruvian fruits, will not easily be found elsewhere. Typical Peruvian fruits are, for instance: aguaymanto (goldenberry), chirimoya, tumbo, and tuna (or cactus fruit). During the Inca Trail, the famous trek to the Inca citadel Machu Picchu, you will find a lot of this fruit just along the road, especially the Tuna or cactus fruit.
All these exotic fruits are the perfect ingredients for amazing fruit juices. Di you know there are also very tasty strawberries in the Cusco area? Most are cultivated in the Sacred Valley of the Incas; the small village of Calca is known as thé producer of strawberries in the surrounding of Cusco!
When living at the AMAUTA Residence of with one of our host families in Cusco, for sure you have been offered some of those lovely big tasty glasses full of juice by your guest mom or our chef. But also travelers in Cusco can have access to those nice and fresh fruit juices, as there are some nice places where you can buy those. It is even possible to buy medicinal juices. But not all the restaurants and cafés have the best juices. Where in Cusco to go for good the best and fresh juices? Keep on reading!
Mercado San Blas
On the San Blas Market – but also in the San Pedro Market – there are a lot of ‘stalls’ where you can buy fresh fruit juices. The juices are all fresh made, right before your eyes. You may even choose your own fruits for a personalized juice combination and have them blended in water or milk, with or without sugar. If you ask for fruit, and they don’t have in stock, the vendor might go to another stall, and borrow the fruit from a colleague!
For not too much money you will get a huge glass with the freshly made juice, completely to your taste, with ‘aumento.’ (a second serving). While enjoying your juices, look around and enjoy the busy and colorful market. If you are in a hurry and have no time to sit down, you can also buy a takeaway fruit juice.
My favorite ‘stall’ at the San Blas Market, is ‘Betty’s. All the juice stalls have a sign, with the prices and the names, so it will be easy to find her. Betty is a very helpful and friendly lady. She will do her best to give you the exact juice you want! Betty’s place is always the busiest one at the market!
If you are looking for a place in the city center of Cusco, I recommend Yajúú, another of my favorite places in Cusco. Entering Yajúú, the first thing you’ll see, are all the fruits. A colorful sight! Yajúú is a bit more expensive than the San Blas market but still more than affordable. From the second floor, you have a fantastic view over the Plaza de Armas in Cusco.
Beside their juices, Yajuu also sell a variety of sandwiches. And last but not least, I want to mention their medicinal juices: what about a fruit juice for your headache? Or to combat soroche, the altitude sickness?? Give it a try!
Different “juices” : frutillada & chicha morada
There are some drinks in Peru and Cusco that have fruits as their main ingredient, but that are no juice. An example of the “frutillada.” Frutillada is a fermented strawberry drink; therefore, it normally contains alcohol, but there is also a non-alcoholic version. If you want to try a typical Peruvian drink, very popular among the locals, try this. You will not find this easily in the standard juice bars, but in the typical Peruvian restaurants, especially in the Sacred Valley.
Another traditional Peruvian drink is “chicha morada”. Also, this is a very famous and popular drink in Peru, originally, from the coast. It is non-alcoholic and also children drink it. You will find it in all Peruvian restaurants. What is it? It is a drink made of the beautiful purple corn (with sugar and cinnamon). Very tasty and one of my favorites!
AMAUTA offers Spanish courses throughout the year. Spanish classes in Cusco