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.