6 Unusual Peruvian Fruits to Try in Cusco

These six unusual Peruvian fruits can be easily found in local market in Cusco, and offer new flavors to eager travelers.

The main reason for travel is to enjoy new experiences. This doesn’t solely include visiting new attractions; it also includes new smells and flavors. Most travelers learn enough about their intended destination to know about a few traditional dishes they want to try (and we at Plus Restaurant are always ready to help with a roast guinea pig or some lomo saltado!). What travelers may not think of, however, are the natural products that a place produces. Here, we’ve compiled a list of six unusual Peruvian fruits that you’ll discover are easy to find in the local markets of Cusco:

1.      The aguaymanto is also known as the Inca berry or the Peruvian cherry. For those from Mexico or the southwestern United States, this yellow fruit resembles a tomatillo. It’s the size of a cherry and has a tart taste. In Cusco, you’ll find Aguaymanto in pie fillings and cheesecake toppings, or in mousse form. It’s an omnipresent presence on the dessert menus of the city’s nicer restaurants. The aguaymanto is tastier in these sweetened forms than in its natural form.

2.      Cherimoya is similar to a custard apple, and is a very popular ice cream flavor throughout Peru. You might find the texture strange when eating out of hand, but if you’re staying in a hostel or an apartment with a guest kitchen during your trip to Peru, make use of the blender- cherimoya makes excellent smoothies!

3.      Capulin berries grow mainly in subtropical climates, but can still easily be found on trees throughout Cusco and the Sacred Valley. If you spot some, feel free to pick a few and sample them! Sometimes you’ll spot small bags of capulin berries for sale on the street alongside other fruits. They are quite sweet, but they do have seeds that are pretty large relative to their overall size, and that you are better off not eating.

4.      Pacay has a wonderful alternative name: the ice cream bean. If you are lucky enough to find a large one, of the sort that arrive from the Amazon, you’ll see that the circular white fruits encased inside the long outer husk are a lot like cotton candy in flavor, and are very sweet. Small pacays grow around Cusco and the Sacred Valley, but they’re different in texture and flavor- they’re less sweet, and can be slightly gelatinous.

5.      The pepino dulce, which translates as sweet cucumber, tastes like a cross between a cantaloupe and a cucumber. It’s slightly sweet and very refreshing. If you’re planning to go on a hike, consider taking a few to keep you hydrated. This one’s a showstopper: the outside is a yellowy beige, with purple stripes.

6.      Like number 2 on our list, lucuma is a popular ice cream flavor. In fact, it’s the popular ice cream flavor in Peru, as it beats out both chocolate and vanilla. Although it’s only naturally found in Peru, Bolivia, and Costa Rica, you may have seen this bright orange fruit with green exterior before- it’s also referred to as eggfruit and tastes slightly like a sweet potato, with banana and chocolate undertones. This is another great smoothie option, so if you find yourself in the juice aisle of one of Cusco's local markets, consider ordering a lucuma with milk- delicious!

Fecha de Publicación: 09/09/2015