One of the biggest benefits of living in Colombia is the affordability of fruits and vegetables. Unlike the West where you might drop a good $5-8 on a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice with your weekend brunch, in Colombia a mere $1 will get you the same juice except bigger, fresher and tastier right off the street.
With fruit being so cheap, coupled with the huge diversity of produce and Colombia’s love for sugar, it’s no wonder why this country has a strong history and culture of juicing fruit. Ask your average Colombian and they’ll most likely tell you that no meal is complete without a juguito. I remember in my early days when I would politely ask for a glass of water and people would look at me like I had just committed some sort of taboo.
The great news is that there are so many types of fruit that you could juice here that you’ll never go bored. Lulo, maracuyá, guava, mango and blackberry are some of the more common ones that you would find on your daily menu as they tend to be lighter and are great for cleansing the palette. If you’re looking for something a little heavier, I recommend skipping dessert and instead going to a juice bar to try out a few milk-based favourites such as guanábana and cúruba. It doesn’t stop there either. For those with a daring palette, there are more exotic options like feijoa, borojó and chontaduro.
While juicing may be something new to western cultures and just another trend in what seems to be a constantly changing health food industry, in Colombia it is just a part of their lifestyle. I must confess that although I have never been much of a fruit person, I have taken a liking to juicing and now find myself feeling that a meal is incomplete without a glass of fresh juice to wash it down with.