Monday, July 30, 2007


The name says it all. Frequently the ‘Re’ is dropped and it’s just called ‘fresco’, which appropriately changes the translation in English to ‘fresh’.

Living in a tropical climate has taken some adjustment, not the least of which is my idea of what kind of sweet things I want. I’ve tried baking (Ugh! Hot!) and frying (Ugh! Really hot!) to satisfy my sweet tooth, but by the time it’s complete, I’m so tired and sweaty I don’t even want it anymore! And that’s not like me!

Cookies, cakes, pies, pastries, you name it, I wanted to bake it. But now I can’t think of anything I’d like more than a cool drink. As I found out, though, this comes with some heat too.

Sister Phyllis and I headed off to the market on Saturday afternoon to see what we could find. She’s lived here for years, but willingly obliged my desire to try to experiment with some of the unknown produce I’d never seen before.

There is a fair amount of produce that is totally familiar since we’re very good at shipping things to ourselves in the US from Central America. Mangoes, Papayas, bananas and pineapple all grow in abundance here. When I would point and ask someone what I could do with an item I was unfamiliar with in their stock, many of the times I would get the answer ‘refresco’.

So I picked out some collitos to bring home and the recommended spices (cinnamon sticks and anise) in little plastic baggies. Sister and I plunked them into a pot of water and set it on the stove to boil. About an hour later (after much checking) we strained the juice and mashed the last bits of flavor out of the berries (which have a huge pit inside so we decided mashing them had actually been just about worthless).

After dropping the ice in to cool it down, we sampled our experiment. And we liked it, we liked it quite a bit because it was almost exactly the same as….. cranberry juice! Really refreshing, time consuming cranberry juice!

To complete the effect, I put some in a plastic baggie. If there is one thing that says tropical Central American country to me, it is drinking juice out of a baggie. Because soda still comes in glass bottles here, if you want something to drink to go, it comes in a plastic baggie. Just bite off the corner and drink responsibly!

And I almost forgot! This is my submission for SHF #33, hosted by!


Mary said...

Thanks for sharing your truly tropical and refreshing drink.

kneek said...

What about chocolate? Is there any chocolate produced domesitcally?

I love your spirit of culinary adventure!

Nic said...

I wish! I finally bought a Cadbury chocolate bar for $2 in Managua this week. If anyone knows of Nicaraguan chocolate, let me know!!!