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Some things you have to experience for yourself. Just the sight and smell of it all can’t be described to do it justice!  I wish that there was “video aroma” so we could post it and let you each be a part of the journey. In Peru there are many, many open air markets. It is great – you buy everything fresh, meat, fruits and vegetables. A great majority of the places we go many of the families do not have electricity or water. The only problem with that is the refrigeration and sanitation of some items. Like meat for example.

There is no FDA, obviously no USDA – it appears that there is no regulatory agency that monitors the sale of meat. For Peruvians it is okay –  it is a part of their lifestyle. But to us “gringas” – it is a bit unnerving. Well that and the flies that are a part of the “display” and the aroma that permeates everything. It is just something that you can’t get over. It stays with you long after you have left the market.

The picture below shows a display of meat for sale. Large cuts are hung on hooks. When you decide what you want you just ask the person at the stall to slice it for you. It is cut on a butcher block or right on the stall counter, shown in the forefront, and then weighed on the scale and sold by kilo. Then it is put into a plastic bag and tied up ready for you to take home.Meat at outdoor market 1Everything hangs in the open air for hours, maybe even days, we are not sure how long some of the meat has been there. By the smell it seems to be for quite awhile. Big cities, little towns and villages – all have open air markets. Part of the cultural flavor.

Meat marketEach stall has a different type of meat – beef, chicken, fish, pork, and other varieties that we are not exactly “familiar” with at this point. All the parts are used including heart, intestine, head, feet, etc … Peruvians are very resourceful and nothing goes to waste. Love that about the culture. They use it all – whatever is grown in, on and from the land.

One thing has always fascinated us. Never have been quite sure why the chicken eggs are shown like this. From Lima to Chiclayo, Iquitos to Pucallpa it is very common to see chicken displayed in this fashion.

Meat with eggs insideGuess it’s like a prize package. Meat and eggs all at once.

In His Mighty Grip and wondering what He created first – the chicken or the egg???