Food Culture, Ingredients

The Time of Bananas has Come to Cuzco

Little Bananas Ready to Be Eaten (Photo: Walter Coraza)

Every year spring comes to Cuzco these days. With it comes the time of fruit. Trucks overflowing with fruit rise up from the tropical valleys to our city and travel to other cities of Peru. They keep them well stocked with fruit and, at the same time start the time of fruit.

Fresh fruit is one of the glories of Peru. It seems infinite in variety and it always fills the stalls of the market vendors. Though always delicious there are times, like now, when there is more supply and it is just fresher.

From early in the morning men start unloading the fruit on stems, bundles, or individual fruit, often in sacks. They work as if they were ants, one after another, carrying a heavy load so that after dawn the vendors can put on their aprons and begin to sell, confident in the quality of their product, throughout the day.

Fried Bananas in a Jungle Dish (Photo: Walter Coraza)
Fried Bananas in a Jungle Dish (Photo: Walter Coraza)

After all, who does not eat fruit? Just walking down the street or entering into the markets you will find fresh fruit. It is well ordered, a model of how society should be, and looks attractive. It calls us and a moment of desire and future thrill runs through us.

The time of bananas has come. From green plantains to make chips to small little baby bananas, so ripe and sweet that children beg their mothers for them, they are here. Bananas are one of the most consumed fruits in the city of Cuzco, loved by young and old alike.

Year round you can find this fruit on our streets and in our markets. But in these months it is better, riper and fresher, without having been mistreated by time or travel. It is as if the roads from the jungle just got shorter and smoother, though to be honest with the rains the road from Quillabamba in our lowlands is much more muddy and difficult. Nevertheless the fruit arrives in better conditions.

Bananas for Sale in the Market (Photo: Walter Coraza)
Bananas for Sale in the Market (Photo: Walter Coraza)

It is easy to eat a banana. You just peel it and bam, it is gone. It is delicious on bread as a simple and delightful sandwich, or as part of a mixture of fruit in juices. You can make a fruit salad. With plantains, the starchier form of bananas, you can fry them up as part of a cuban rice (rice, fried plantains, and fried egg), make chips, or boil them. There are hundreds of ways to  eat bananas.

In any case, eating fruit is vital for us. It help our bodies continue to function well and for us to have the necessary energy to do everything we need to do.

 

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