January is over; the first month of the New Year reaches its end. Nevertheless, new fruit arrives as the high season for fruit commences. They come in great quantities and include cherries, small pears, plums, and our own capulí and take over our markets.
You can only enjoy this fruit in season. They are not available all year round like bananas, oranges, apples, or papayas. Those you can always count on. Their radiant colors and brilliant flavors are always on show, but the fruits of the season are distinct and unique. They bring gem-like touches to our already colorful markets.
Our cherries come in two colors. They are red or yellow. This delicious fruit is round in shape and regular in size. Just by taking a taste you are transported to the clouds with the soft and juicy flavor that they have. This fruit not only grows in the countryside it is also produced in the city’s gardens.
Many in the city also have plum trees. They are very similar to the cherries but they are much darker in color and their taste is different.
The small pears are similar to ordinary pears. They have the same color and are just smaller. The small pears also make a delicious pear stew, chupe de peras. This dish is similar to the crayfish stew—chupe de camarones—made in Arequipa. It uses the same ingredients. For our stew you just substitute the pears for the crayfish.
Our capulí are anxiously awaited by the people of Cuzco. They look for its season’s arrival. This fruit is similar to seeds, though they are purple in color or a very dark red. Our caseras, vendors, sell them in wide basins sitting in water. Others have them already packaged and ready for sale. Some capulí are sweet and others are just a bit bitter.
All of these varieties of fruit arrive in great quantities. They come from the districts of Cuzco as well as rural towns such as Coya and Urubamba. Some of them are sold individually, such as the pears. They run five pears for one sol, about 0.35$US. Others are sold in bags from one to two soles.