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Mobo in Peru

My latest adventures along the Culinary Inca Trail in Peru are featured in this week’s Nomad Editions Real Eats. Click here to read.

It was a great time with some mobo foodies (including Annie, Brad and Lisa).  On one point we found a large artisan market in Pisac, filled with clothing, gourds, shawls and other trinkets.  But it was the open-air food market that caught our eye.  Potatoes of every size and shape dominated large portions of the market.  And for good reason, the world’s domesticated potatoes originated in Peru, scientists say, some 4000 years ago.

At lunch time, we noticed all the vendors with plates filled with food.  We followed them to a row of  ambulantes, which literally means food-on-the-run, ie. fast food.  These were kitchen tables presided over by women with large caldrons of soups, noodles, pots of chicken, and jars of fruit drinks.  The stoves were tucked near the sidewalks, fueled by small natural gas tanks.  Food was scooped from large aluminum trays into pans, and heated up for the diners.  Plates were washed in buckets of water and dried, then used for the next diners.

Once seated, it felt like I was home, with my mom cooking for me, surrounded by the smells of stew and potatoes, and the clamber of dishes.  We ordered traditional braised chicken, with potatoes, and rice and a beet salad.  At other ambulates there were large platters of noodles with pesto sauce.  Or, beef stew ladled over rice.

Other diners shuffled their feet behind us, so we finished up and explored the market.

Read more in Real Eats.

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