In the tiny neighborhood of San Antonio, located in Miraflores, in Lima Peru, there is a small organic market on Saturday mornings. The market rotates around Lima so if you don't catch it in Miraflores, look for it in other locations.
The market is an organic local Peruvian food market. A market of this kind is still something of a rare thing in a country totally obsessed with food. I imagine as the Slow Food movement takes hold and people start to see the value of local and organic, these kinds of markets will become easier to find. Our Peruvian chef, friend and Slow Food member, Gonzalo Angosto took us to the market in his neighborhood of San Antonio. The market is only 3/4 of a block long but is jam packed with fruits and vegetables, organic eggs, Peruvian coffee, local honey and Peruvian street food. Oh, and I can't forget the most delicious little sweet caramels individually wrapped by nuns! I think Peruvians are obsessed with these salty, nutty little caramel treats as I saw them in many incarnations across Peru.
I bought some brilliant yellow canary beans (frijol canario) and a mixed bag of organic beans ( (frijol pusacc punuy) as well as some red (quinua roja) and black (quinua negra) quinoa and a couple dried peppers (aji and aji amarillo) and some pink sea salt.
The dried goods are beautiful, easy to pack, make great gifts and travel well.
We had to buy some pecans with caramel covered in chocolate, and wrapped in individual little blue and white papers. These had to be consumed immediately as it was too hot for them to travel... but there were no complaints. Go to the market early, if you can, and have a local peruvian coffe and some street food. There are many kinds of Peruvian pork breakfast sandwiches and they are absolutely not to be missed! (more on this later)
Wander a bit and pick up some things to take home, once you are back you will be happy to have them and I guarantee it will make the trip that much sweeter.
I always bring honey and sea salt back for my own pantry and for friends because it is a unique gift and you can virtually find it anywhere. The Peruvian sea salt is a soft pink and very strong in flavor, so if you get it use just a tiny amount at a time!
link to Gonzalo's hostel