One the best things about living in Lima is the fact that there are thousands of street vendors lining the streets, each one selling something different from succulent anticuchos (cow hearts) to alfajores (peruvian pastry) and empanadas. These vendors can usually be found at just about all hours of the day and usually have an identifiable cart or stand. Quite possibly one of the most popular and numerous of street vendor items is none other than orange juice and BOY is it GOOD!
As you can see from the picture above an orange juice stand consists of two special devices that help to make the juice making process easier. The first device is located on the end of the cart and resembles a vice with the exception of a small blade and a crank handle that is used to quickly and efficiently peel the oranges. Next, the peeled oranges are cut into halves and placed inside an old fashion juicer, this device like your grandfathers push mower requires good ole fashion brute strength to operate. The juice is produced rather quickly as the perveyours have several years experience in their field.
The quality of the fresh squeezed orange juice is uncomparable to anything I have ever drank in the States, here the oranges come in a wide variety with some of the sweetest types that you wont find in your local grocery store. Once you have tried GOOD fresh squeezed orange juice like what can be found in Peru, you will be able to tell the difference when you try drinking pasturized orange juice. What makes fresh squeezed orange juice so popular in Lima is not just it's availablity throughout the city, its also its price. Often times S/.1.00 is all you need to purchase two tall glasses of OJ, probably one its main reasons for success after flavor of course.
Why is the orange juice so good here in Peru? It's because of Peru's geography really, Peru is regarded as one of the only topographically diverse countries in South America. What does that mean? That mean's that the geography of the country is widely diverse from coastal deserts to high mountainous plains all the way to dense rainforests. It is because of this that Peru is also known for being a resource rich country (not just minerals and oil either), a reality that has helped the country through it's rough economic situation.
So the next time your in Lima, Peru I recommend you hunt down an orange juice stand (its not hard to do, really) and give it a try, I guarantee you'll love it.