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COLOMBIA | Saturday, 14 January 2006 | Views [1968]

O.K. It's time for a little bit of a detox. The beer and Veg and two meat diet is starting to take it's toll. There has been a certain shift in attitudes among those around me, my new nicknames of "El Gordo" and "Sancho Panza", which have been gaining ground over the last week or so, leads me to beleive I might have gained the odd pound or two over the duration. ( Panza being the word for "gut" or "belly" in these parts). So in the interest of research, pride and my blood pressure I went down to the market today for a few bags of the first fruit that caught my eye but that I could not readily identify. I think it's going to take a few trips over the next few days to munch through the lot. I better get a shift on or I wont have time for the post on strong liquors.
My initial grab bag included the fruit shown here, with exception of the bananas which I bought just in case the surfeit of the other more alien stuff 'loosened' me up too much. The articles of principal interest today: Tomate de arbol, Zapote and Borojo. And Interesting mix. The ladies of the household are helping me with my little review and were kind enough to give me some help with the preparation. A lot of fruits here are juiced: the tomate del arbol aka tree tomato, aka tamarillo is a nice juicy start. It tastes great in a pitcher full of ice and I can best describe the red juice as a cross between water melon and strawberries, the Zapote on the other hand, which little Zhary is kindly demonstrating in it's open form, has the texture of an Avacado and a taste not unlike a fleshy cantaloupe or Galia Melon. Like the Tomate de arbol it is apparently more often juiced and drunk than eaten from the hand. Perhaps the most interesting of the three is the Borojo, I'm not sure of the initial form of this little monster but the shape it assumes now is due purely to the fact that it has been wrapped in cling-film and suspended in a little plastic net. The fruit inside, as you see in the photo looks like a liquidised christmas pudding and smells fairly pungent and fruity. These gelid little beasts are between two and three years old at the time of their consumption. I asked the ladies what they tasted like; laughs all around. Apparently this is purely a man's domain and, as far as I can determine, seems to be some natural form of Viagra. The girls wouldn't touch a Borojo with a bargepole except to prepare it, something they were happy to do for me (accompanied by much giggling and snapping of each other's bra straps and sideways comments which I can only guess, call me paranoid if you will, are off colour remarks about the gringo manhood). Well they'll laugh on the other side of their 'caras' when confronted with the cerveza-crazed, borojo-fuelled, overfed monster that they have created. I hope for their sakes they know where to lay their hands on a couple of cattle prods at short notice or by god, there'll be pork on the menu breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Musing aside; they whisked up about a quarter of the borojo with a little egg about the size of a quails egg, a cup of milk, some sugar and a few nondescript ingredients I have yet to identify. Like a trusting fledgling I drank the resultant greeny brown, sweet, floury sludge, reminscent in texture to the Limpopo river, without any feelings of revulsion. Apparently you have to drink it for three or four days to feel the benefit.
Up till now I haven't noticed anything, apart from nervous, or maybe expectant sideways glances from the girls. I never was much good at deciphering those signals. Actually maybe I do have the first stirrings. My guts are rumbling and I am producing industrial quantities of methane. Carrrrr-amba!!!

Tags: Food & eating

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