Pica No Pica

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Three chili sauces. Only one is spicy.

“Pica no pica” is a phrase one hears here in Lima. It translates literally as “spice no spice”  but actually means “seasoned but not spicy.”

So not spicy on the scoville scale but flavorful.

I may start responding with “pica q pica!”

The Chile Lady of Paloquemao

Not the chile lady.
Not the chile lady.

It took six months for her to smile. But, I find that sort of fascinating. The lady in the photo is not her but I liked her style.

Boxes of dried chiles.
Boxes of dried chiles.

When I moved to Bogota, I was told about the chile lady. It took me a long time to find her because Paloquemao market, while not immense, can be confusing because so many of the stalls look exactly alike. Now I know that she’s a right turn from Peter’s Chinese vegetable stall, located in the Chinese vegetable alley.

The Chile Lady was wearing a chile shirt last weekend.
The Chile Lady was wearing a chile shirt last weekend.

There is also a “Mexican” stall but I usually get my chiles from the Chile Lady of Paloquemao.