When In Peru...
Peru is a country full of culture and tradition. One huge part of Peru's culture is its food. They have a variety of different dishes made prepared with different spices, vegetables and meats. Bianca and Priscilla have experienced just few of these dishes. Since I am a vegetarian, I have only tried a handful of the dishes. One hot Sunday morning, we decided to join in on a trip to the Belen Market. The Belen Market is an open market, and its contents are as diverse as the land itself. You can find all kinds of fresh fruits and vegetables, alternative medicines, meats and even a few monkeys. The most notorious of them all is the meat market. Nathanael, one of the volunteers at POPPYS House, had warned us about the "wonderful" aroma that usually kept him from eating any time before or after he visited the meat market. Here in Peru, they do not let any part of the animal go to waste. Walking into the market you could see pig heads, chicken throats, and cow tongues hanging like decorative chandeliers from the stands. The tiled tables were adorned with the crimson color of blood and animal parts. The scene combined with the smell of blood reminded me why became I a vegetarian.
This is the brain and the skin off the cow's face
Two tongues. Appartently a "bilingual cow"
This cow still seems to be smiling!
A few nights later, a few of the staff members from POPPYS House made a late night run to our local fast food. "McTee's" which we later named it, is our little towns form of fast food. It's a little stand with about six chairs and a light. It's famous for its hamburgers layered with cabbage, French fries, a special sauce and one thin slice of hamburger meat that’s about as thick as a sheet of paper. I had heard how good they were from Aaron and Kelly and later from my sister and Priscilla. So after much consideration and persuasion from the other party, I decided to go ahead and try this famous burger. I figured, I am in Peru, and why not try one of its local specialties? They gave me the first burger since it was my first time. I was hesitant at first then I took a small bite. The burger was delicious! The perfect mixture of sauce, aji, and vegetables just brought that very very thin slice of hamburger meat alive. Since I hadn't eaten meat in nearly 4 years, I decided to only consume half of the hamburger patty, I shared the rest with Bobby, the house's guard dog.
The next morning a few of us woke up with a stomach ache and a condition locally known as "on the bicycle" (nature's colon cleanser). At that very moment, I was reminded, yet again, why I had become a vegetarian in the first place.