One of my favorite aspects of Nica cuisine is the fresco-in-a-bag.  A fresco is any home-made drink, ranging from an endless combination of fresh fruit and vegetable juices (for example, watermelon and pineapple juice or carrot and orange juice), as well as other popular frescos, which might include anything from avena (oatmeal) to cacao mixed with milk.  Anything goes, really, as long as it’s mixed with ample amounts of sugar and is portable.

Here is the fresco-in-a-bag that I had this morning:

I got it from an outdoor kiosk, which is a classier joint, so they included a straw with my fresco para llevar.  Vendors that sell frescos on the street generally do not offer straws, in which case you must bite a hole in the corner of the bag to drink.

My favorite fresco-in-a-bag moment to date: Running late for my bus to Matagalpa, I had a tough dilemma to overcome: how could I possibly drink my delicious iced-coffee in time to make the bus?  Should I take the whole french press or leave it behind and go coffee-less?  Then I remembered that I was in Nicaragua and I had a ton of sandwich bags.  I acted quickly and dumped the contents of my french press into the plastic bag and made my way to the bus.  Now here’s an important point you must understand: my plastic bags are Zip-Lock brand and are directly from the States. They are wonderful for keeping sandwiches fresh with their easy-to-seal tops.  They are not, however, wonderful at allowing you to tie their tops into knots (the preferable method for closing a fresco-in-a-bag). So there I was on the bus, feeling really Nicaraguense sitting there drinking my iced-coffee out of a bag as I internally applauded myself on my awesome ability to integrate into the culture when it happened: a quick movement, a slight gap in the sealed bag, and the coffee spilled onto my skirt.  Brilliant.  Just in case you were wondering, this is how you know you’re still American.

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4 Responses to Fresco-in-a-Bag

  1. jeryl baker says:

    Your blogs and my families love of adventure have steered us to looking into spending Christmas week in Nicaragua. Will you be there then? If so, can we come visit? Any suggestions?


    • Lauren says:

      Yes and yes! I will ask around for ideas from volunteers that have had more time to travel and explore the country. I have an excellent guide book written by a previous peace corps volunteer in Nicaragua, which I recommend:

      Some quick ideas: La Isla de Ometepe is a big island in the middle of Lake Nicaragua which is home to two volcanoes and I believe a lot of adventure-type activities. There is “volcano-boarding” on the volcano in Leon. Rivas is a touristy beach area. And of course, if you’re interested in coffee, there are a ton of coffee farms to explore/ coffee tourism up where I live in Matagalpa. Let me know what other type of information you’re looking for!



  2. They’re so refreshing. Melón is my favorite. Yum!


  3. Pingback: Welcome: Lauren Spigel! | VaxTrac

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