You would be forgiven for thinking that all the things you have tasted fill the entire book of your palate’s possible trigger points. That every taste could be described in terms of other tastes. That’s what wine lovers will have you believe, with their hundred and something recognized tastes and smells of wines, and I recently found out that coffee people have one, too, which I smelled and failed and smelled and failed at again on a recent trip to Colombia.
What I did not fail at was eating fruit in Bogotá. I went on a tour (organized by the hotel, organized by the magazine, bla bla bla, not that interesting, and anyway, people in Colombia are nice enough, if you go, and you pay for the fruit, you can do this by yourself, too). I started the day by scarfing down some avocado because I had been so throughly fed the day before that I am still full, and therefore did not eat any breakfast, but yet was hungry. I know, the sense it makes is not great.
And then we set upon the market with knives.
No, actually we set upon it with pocket change, and the fruit sellers were the ones with the knives. The well-manicured hands are not mine. I don’t favor red polish, and also, impossible to hold fruit with two hands and take photos at the same time, turns out.
First there was a pitaya, which was so much juicier and fruitier and more interesting than the sad, underripe one I once had in New Zealand. Sorry NZ, I love you, but you are far from the tropical fruit zone. Plus the guy cut it into a flower.
And then there was the anon, which is similar to the cherimoya or guanabana, but a little grainier.
Then we took a break and had some baked goods, pandebono with guava inside, and a melty cheese thing no one could remember the name of.
Followed by a juice stop for curuba, borojó, and what was essentially fruit salad. Borojó was meatier than I expected. it’s the red one. And tangier. I didn’t exactly like it, but I wasn’t sure why.
My first ever mangosteen. How could it be?
This showed up later in a little ice lens on my fancy mocktail in celebration of the elections, because ley seca. The name could refer to many of a series of fruits. It’s very cute, but not as tasty as Chilean maqui, and a bit acidic.
My word, SAPOTE, where have you been all my life?
And these are one of many palm fruits I’ve eaten or drunk or tasted in ice cream in recent weeks. They are called chontaduro, and there’s a part of me that wants to compare them to dry, bready, buttery, artichoke hearts. Or you know, perfection. So tasty.
There were also chickens, egg depositories, and flowers-a-bajillion. I wish I could have spent more time there, but I’m a broken record with the markets already, and I know it. Got a market? Can I go with you? take pictures? eat stuff? I’m sold.
Plus they had good signs at this market, like the one, that said, “the avocados are ripe, if you need to squeeze something, try the coconut.” Saucy.
The actual articles when they come out will be much more well-heeled, and they will have me staying in fancy places and eating things not cut with a pocket knife with someone else’s hands in the pictures. But it takes all kinds, and I have no desire to have to choose between the two experiences, I’m happy and lucky to fit them both in. Now where was that market?
Looks totally delicious! I was in Cartagena de Indias myself in September, and got to try tomate de árbol juice: heaven! I remember you’ve talked about that fruit in the past on your travels.
oh yes, tomate de árbol and I are NOT friends! But you have a great memory. And I want to go back to Colombia and eat all the fruit. Except maybe that one. Maybe I can leave that one for you!
Sorry, I forgot tomate de árbol wasn’t your thing–that’s a pretty important detail. OK, leave for me.
that’s ok. I should have tried it again in Colombia, just to be sure. But I’m pretty darn sure!
Holy cow I’m so sorry you were somehow conned into buying a dragonfruit here in NZ…at least I think that’s the same as pitaya. I mean the seeds are usually smaller than in this photo but Wikipedia told me…yeah, nevermind. It would have been imported, probably from Vietnam where they grow beautifully on their giant Christmas cactus-like plants and taste of heaven. Mangosteen, though. How awesome are they? It’s interesting to me to see so many fruits there in your South American destinations that I associate strongly with Asia.
I know! I should go to Asia and eat all the fruit. We should meet up sometime! Or in Lower Hutt, you know, I’m not fussy.