In this post, I am going to introduce you eight snacks in Cusco, warm and ready-to-eat even though they are not fast food at all.

These all snacks are sold on the streets by vendors who, on overage, are all women and girls though you may also find young men.

1. Papa con huevo:
One of the most popular snacks: potato and egg. You can season the potato with mayonnaise. It is ideal if you have to go early in the morning since this snack is ready at 6 o´clock around the Plaza San Francisco and the Mercado San Pedro. One potato and egg cost S/1.00.

2. Huevos de codorniz:
or boiled quail eggs. Unlike the rest, who has fixed spots, the street vendors of quail eggs push a small stall, so to speak, with wheels.  They are especially around the Mercado San Pedro and the Plaza San Francisco from about 6 o´clock. Five eggs cost S/1.00.

3. Tamal:
Another popular snack. It is a dumpling made with boiled corn and filled with olive and a slice of chicken. It is wrapped in a leaf. It is ready at 6 o´clock in and around San Pedro Market and the Plaza San Francisco. I have also spotted one at one corner of the main square, and she stays all day long  till evening. One is S/1 and features two flavours: sweet and salted.

4. Rocoto relleno:
It is a spicy bell pepper stuffed with vegetables and ground chopped beef accompanied with potato. I have just found two women who sell this snack from about 10am to 1pm alongside the first block of Afligidos street, nearby the Temple of the Sun or Qoricancha. One costs S/1.00 or two for S/1.50.

5. Moraya:
One of the most typical snack in Cusco though a little bit rare to find nowadays. It is dehydrated potato (therefore its colour is white) with cheese, and lettuce and tomato salad (most people do not eat the salad. Neither do I, just the tomato). I have seen just one woman on the first block of Afligidos street (the same where you find rocoto relleno) during midday. One plate costs S/2.00.

6. Empanadas:
It is a pastry stuffed with meat, cheese, both (called mixto), and even hot dog style. Better if you pour some lemon juice. I have spotted it during the day on the first block of Choquechaca, at the end of Ruinas, and around Limacpampa near Tullumayo avenue. It is S/0.50 and S/1. They also sell the Bolivian version called salteñas.

7. Choclo con queso:
or steamed corn on the cob served with a slice of Andean cheese. It is sold all day long on the way to the archaeological site of Sacsayhuaman at the end of Pumacurco street, and there are two women at the Mercado San Pedro (vegetable area). It costs S/2.

8. Anticucho:
It is a skewer of meat which resembles a shish kebab with potato. Women who sell this snack work from about 6pm till 8 or 9pm. Like tamal and papa con huevo, anticucho is another popular snack as you will find them almost on every block nearby the main square. Do not forget to season it with the sauce. One stick is S/2.00.

Bonus: if you are thirsty, there is also street vendors who offer hot beverages such as maca, quinoa, emoliente, and mate (in plastic bottles) especially on early hours and evenings. They always give you an “aumento” or extra amount for free. In Lima we do not say aumento, but “yapa”.

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Dear reader, in case you are in a hurry to catch your bus, or wish to eat slightly, or even turn your curiosity on, you can indulge yourself with these Peruvian snacks.

Even though you might at first be afraid of trying one of these snacks, they are all safe to eat, at least, for Peruvian stomachs. Eventually, you may end up calling one of these women your “caseritas” (1).

(1) caserita is the person whom you come over to buy something on a regular basis.

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