What’s it like to eat in Peru? Smile at the menu. Divide the prices by three. Round down. The exchange rate is over 3.20 dollars per sol.

Fresh squeezed fruit juice? $2.50 for a double-sized glass. Chicken avocado sandwich with coffee? Three dollars.

On top of that, the food here is all “organic”–without the label and without the markup. When you shop for fruit, you let the seller know if you’re planning to eat tomorrow instead of the same day. That way they can bring you produce a shade less ripe.

Tuesday morning, we walked three blocks to a bakery for breakfast. As we hemmed and hawed over three pages of breakfast sandwiches, the display case teased us with rows of desserts: lemon meringue, flan, German chocolate, peach tart, coconut cookies, and pastries filled with a mysterious new ingredient: majar blanco.

Majar blanco is sweetened condensed milk mixed with cinnamon goodness. You can buy jars of it at the grocery store. You can also buy squeeze packs of sweetened condensed milk all by itself — “specially for fruits,” as the label advises.

In Peru, they know how to do food.


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