Delicious, sugary and cold refreshing “refrescos” fruit juices are a large part of culture in Nicaragua. Learning how to drink one is also a cultural lesson. These drinks are sold in plastic bags, which to a newcomer can be confusing. First you bite the corner of the bag, and then you attempt to balance the bag or not spill the brightly colored juice on your clothes while you drink it. I learned recently that the reason the juice is served in bags is because during the war there was little access to supplies, thus plastic bags became very popular and more accessible than cans or plastic. The habit has stuck and now must things are sold in baggies!
Having enjoyed various types of frescos here: passion fruit, dragon fruit, rose hibiscus, orange and more, I decided I wanted to learn how to make one! I hit the market, bought a pineapple, and called upon my Nicaraguan cooking teaching, my English student and neighbor! This rice with pineapple drink may sound a little strange, but don’t knock it until you try it! Here is the recipe:
2 Liters of Water
1 Cup Rice
1 Tbsp of Raspberry Flavored Juice (this does not have much flavor and is more for color, can be left out!)
Sugar to taste
- Slice and cube pineapple
- Put water, pineapple and rice in pot
- Cook until rice is thick and pineapple has softened, about 15 minutes
- Allow mixture to cool
- Blend mixture
- Add sugar to your liking and raspberry juice
- Drain Mixture
- Add ice and enjoy!