Jenkins and I were about to start making our way to Ollantaytambo in Peru to start the Inca Trail portion of our trip. But first, we took a tour of the Sacred Valley of the Incas before we went on the trail. It was pretty fascinating to see all the Incan ruins and to get a better understanding of the Incan way of life. One of the highlights of our Sacred Valley tour was a stop in Pisac, where there is a large street market that is one of the main draws of the town. I had been to quite a few street markets in various Peruvian towns by that time so I skipped the clothing and trinket stalls and made a beeline to the food stands.
Our guide recommended that we check out the empanada lady who was housed in a little hut with an oven that baked fresh empanadas by the dozens. All we had to do was follow our nose and the crowds as she was quite popular.
I had had empanadas before but they were nowhere near as good as the ones this lady made. The bread was slightly crispy on the outside and inside, the empanada was stuffed with a variety of fillings. I forgot to take a picture of the inside but there was just the right amount of filling. Jenkins and I first decided to share a ham and cheese version but it was so tasty, I went back and bought a couple more for the remainder of the bus ride. I especially enjoyed the traditional version which was filled with onions, tomatos, cheese, oregano, and rosemary. Each empanada cost less than $1.
For $2, I also bought a cob of Incan corn. Each kernel was about the size of my thumb nail. Perhaps because the kernels were so big, they almost had a meaty texture to it but was not as sweet as the Chilliwack corn we have in the Lower Mainland. I was told that this is the corn eaten by the Incan kings because it had the largest kernels so it was quite the treat for me.
I quite enjoyed my taste of the local food in the Sacred Valley area and only wished I was able to spend more time there. If you happen to be in Pisac and see the empanada lady at the market, be sure to pick up a few empanadas!