To the outside world, coffee might seem like Colombia’s most emblematic beverage, but ask actual Colombians what their favorite pick-me-up is and you’re much more likely to hear a string of tropical juices than some frothy cappuccino.
And while most of the country’s best coffee is produced for export, when it comes to juice, Colombia isn’t letting the good stuff go anywhere. Particularly in the coastal cities like Cartagena, juice vendors are everywhere dishing out tasty concoctions, but these aren’t the cold-pressed juices found at health-conscious American juice bars. Fruit pulps are usually mixed with water, or in some cases milk, and sugar and blended to a frothy delight. Leave your kale juice at home and spend your time in Colombia trying many of its exotic juices instead – here are just five to get your started:
| Lulo |
Orange on the outside with green and yellow pulp on the inside, lulo has a citrusy flavor most find too sour to eat on its own. But jugo de lulo, mixed with a touch of sugar, is perhaps Colombia’s most popular juice. Also known as naranjilla in some parts of Latin America, the fruit is related to the tomatillo and some describe its flavor as somewhere between green apple, rhubarb and lime. Whatever you call it, it’s absolutely delicious.
| Guanábana |
Despite having the rather unfortunate English-language name of soursop, guanábana is another one of Colombia’s most popular fruit juices. The thorny green skin is filled with white flesh and black seeds, similar in appearance to the cherimoya. Its juice has a creamy flavor with hints of strawberry and pineapple, and goes well with milk and sugar.
| Tomate de árbol |
Your high school Spanish classes can help you figure out what this one is. The so-called tree tomato is an egg-shaped fruit with a yellower flesh than the typical red tomato. It has one of the most unique flavors, similar to a mix of passion fruit and tomato, and many tout its health benefits.
| Granadilla |
Granadilla is a close cousin of the better-known passion fruit. On the outside it looks like a small orange, but when cracked open it contains a gelatinous pulp filled with seeds. The flavor is similar to that of the passion fruit, but sweeter, and the seeds are usually filtered out of the juice.
| Mamoncillo |
On the outside this fruit looks like a simple lime, but when cracked open reveals a pinky-orange flesh similar to that of a lychee. And the resulting flavor is just like what it’s appearance would suggest – the tartness of lime with the mild sweetness of lychee.Bogotá, Bogota Wine & Food Festival 2014, Cartagena, Medellín, Restaurants Locals Love in Bogotá, What to do in Medellin