To enter the freshness of our seasonal fruit in Cusco is to understand the flavors and scents that raise impressions causing you to lift fruit to your mouth.
During these months of celebration—May, June, and July—when the majority of people go out in groups or family or friends to take part in the feasts of Corpus Christi, Inti Raymi, or of the National Holiday, it is easy to find in the streets roaming vendors pushing their carts or wheelbarrows and offering us sugar cane coconut, pomegranate, and cherimoya.
With the arrival of the intense heat of this season, local people and visitors seek something to sweeten and refresh their palates, our enticing fruit.
Walking from the San Francisco Plaza to the Market of San Pedro, you can find these four delectable fruits in our streets without needing to look for them in the supermarkets of in the traditional markets.
During these festive months, these four kinds of fruit enter into competition since so many people ask for them.
Their cost varies according to their size. The large cherimoyas cost 7/S per kilo while the small ones are 5/S per kilo. You can also buy single fruit as you go by. Pomegranates are the same. The large ones cost some 5/S per kilo while the small ones are 4/S per kilo.
I love to feel the softness and taste the sweetness of a cherimoya on my palate. It is refreshing, sweet, and delicate once you have it in your mouth. Whenever I meet a roaming vendor offering this fruit a sweet taste takes over my mouth.
The flavor of the pomegranate is also sweet, though it has a touch of acidity that makes it very agreeable as you eat it. When you split open a pomegranate you see an innumerable brilliant little red and juicy seeds. You could spend an hour eating it seed by seed and it is delicious because its juice takes over your palate.
El sabor de la granada también es dulce pero tiene una acides que se vuelve agradable a medida que vas comiendo. Cuando partes la granada se ve a simple vista unas incontables y brillantes pepitas rojas jugosas. Puedes pasarte una hora por lo menos comiendo pepa por pepa y es rica porque su jugo envuelve todo el paladar.
The price of sugarcane varies according to its thickness and size. It is sold in unpeeled sticks. You can find them beginning at 3/S. You can also buy small plastic bags of peeled and sliced sugar cane beginning for just one sol. They are ready to give us juices and sweetness at every step.
Coconut is sold whole. Its price varies according to its size. There are ones for 2/S and for 3/S. If you wish, you can also just buy coconut milk. A glass costs 1.5/S. There are also cocadas, coconut sweets. They are made from grated fresh coconut and are baked. They arrive in the market in small, transparent bags. You get six, small, round sweets each the size of a small cookie. The bag costs 1/S.
I remember years ago at this time, my father would arrive home with five coconuts and five sugar canes for the whole family. My mother, father, older brother, younger sister and I would gather that weekend and among laughter and long talks would enjoy these natural fruits.
It is impossible to not try the fruit that comes to Cusco since the earth offers us such richness in this season.