One of the best ways to experience Colombia is through its fruits. Whether you are lying on the beach, enjoying a beautiful mountain landscape or sitting in a peaceful corner in a restaurant, you will most likely find that you are surrounded in some way by fruits. Many of the country’s fruits are little-known to foreigners and even for Colombians it may happen that fruits found in one region are not necessarily well-known in other parts of the country.
As a Colombian, I am still amazed by times when I travel around the country and discover a fruit that in my region is little-known or that does not grow at all. This very fact makes of some fruits the hallmark of a particular region. For instance, not far away from the city of Cali, Colombia’s third largest urban area, a fruit called Borojó, known around the country for its traditional belief to be an aphrodisiac, is a symbol of the Pacific Coast of Colombia and its culture. Borojó, apart from being eaten alone, is used for the preparation of aphrodisiac medicines, wine, jam, several desserts that include cakes and juices.
Moving back to the city of Cali, one finds a special drink that unites one of the most important ingredients in Colombian cuisine with the unique taste of a fruit that simply blows one’s mind. The so-called Lulo, a citrus-based fruit that is almost too sour at times to eat alone, blends with corn, one of the top ingredients in Colombian cuisine, to produce the famous Champús, a drink that has a reputation of not being especially appealing at first sight but of enchanting those that dare to taste it. Champús is a favorite drink in Cali that, apart from its main ingredients, adds to the popular mixture pineapple and tinges of lime juice.
But without question one more popular drink that is widely known throughout the country is the so-called Salpicón, a fruit cocktail that brings together some of the most delicious fruits found in the country. This unique recipe mixes a variety of textures and tastes to create a fabulous drink with both sour and sweet elements. Salpicón is typically made of chunks of pineapple, papaya, watermelon, bananas, mango, melon, apples, grapes and other fruits, all in a pinkish-purple juice.
Borojó and Lulo are truly within the top most exotic fruits all tourists must try when visiting Colombia. Whether you experience them alone or in any of the various delicious recipes they come in, they are fruits that will impress you with their unique flavor and leave you with a sweet taste of Colombia and its natural wonders.