Grand prize snackmaster winner: The snack to end all snacks was the saltena. No other street fare has come even close (except for
They are usually only available mid-morning and completely worth dragging yourself out of bed. We did extensive research and found the most delicious ones were in
Most abnormally large fruit that still tastes normal: Check out that avocado! It’s as big as Kathleen’s head! And that’s only a quarter of it.
Best shopping experience: We read about an order of cloistered nuns who sell pickled fruit through a revolving door at their convent, and we couldn’t resist the intrigue. Sure enough, you knock on the door, politely ask the hidden Sister if you might buy some pickled lemons, let your money be spun away from you, and await your heavenly treat. The lemons themselves were a bit sweet on their own, but would have been delightful over ice-cream had we had some.
Best Fresh Vitamin C: Oh beloved grapefruit squeezer, how we adored you! Tart and delicious! And you reminded us of the sugar cane press in
Best medicinal snack: Chewing coca leaves saved us on many a high-altitude endeavor, as they warded off headaches, fatigue, and hunger. You simply wad a bunch of them between your cheek and gum, and swallow the juice as you traipse along. Adding an alkaloid like lime ash (which is similar to a small rock) helps draw out the medicinal benefits. The beneficial effects of coca leaf chewing are well documented, but the plant remains hugely controversial for obvious reasons (i.e. it’s lucrative derivative cocaine). The
Most unlikely place to get chocolate: Who knew that Ghirardelli’s came from the jungle? Well, probably a lot of people, actually. But still, it was fun to see cacao in its original pod form hanging from a tree. Crack that baby open to reveal a squishy mass of hard seeds (the cacao beans) nestled in white slime. Really, much tastier than it sounds, as you slurp off the goo to suck on the bean.