Toad and Fish Soup, San Pedro Market Cusco, Peru

When I was told that I would have a chance to try this local dish I was instantly keen to add something new to the list of odd things I’v eaten in forgien countries. I mean, I like frog’s legs – how different could it have been?

After first having a walk around the fresh fruit and vegetable section outside the inside markets, we headed through to the meat section and waited while our local Peruvian guide, Roland, disappeared and returned a few minutes later with a fresh bowl of toad and fish soup. From what I could see just by looking at the bowl of cloudy liquid, which contained toad, an unidentifiable oily fish, toasted corn kernals and shallots.


I was one of only a few who was willing to try it, and once it was offered to me I became a little over confident and gave the soup a good stir to make sure I scooped up some toad and chunks of the unknown fish which had settled on the bottom. I was eager to try it, though I probably shouldn’t have been because it was definitely a taste which I didn’t enjoy at all. With an extreamly strong fishy taste, and a hint of something else which I’m assuming was the toad, it was definitely hard to swallow. If keeping it down wasn’t hard enough, there was still the four or five large corn kernals which I had decided to eagerly collect on the spoon as well. To large to swallow them with the rest of the soup’s contents, I was forced to chew them, and each time I bit into one the explosion of juices and the soup’s flavour reminded me of what I had just eaten.

Now, I’v eaten a lot of things from local markets all over the world, but I can honestly say that this soup is the worst thing I have ever put in my mouth. (Bold statement right there, but I stand by it!)  Probably the only dish which I would not try again – more for the locals!


Luckily we had just bought a ’round’ of the local bread, which is baked in a circle and can easily be 30-40 cms in diameter! Nice and crusty on the outside, while soft and fluffy underneath, it is delicious! I was quite happy to snack on the bread until the flavour of the toad was completely gone!

For more of the weird and wonderful things which can be purchused at the San Pedro Markets in Cusco, Peru, check out this blog:

Special thanks to a friend, Emily, for the pictures and capturing this moment.


3 Comments Add yours

  1. Cassie Kifer says:

    Wow, congrats! I’m not sure I would have had the nerve to try that soup! But that’s great you had a guide to show it to you! I wish we had one to explain all the crazy stuff they sell and find these hidden curiosities… next time 🙂

    1. Local guides can really be worth the extra money, especially if you don’t speak the language (as in my case) and/or don’t know what your looking for in particular. But yes, next time! 🙂

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