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Fresh fruit in Medellín

We were in Exito the other night, where there are signs saying “No photographs”. I decided to risk an international incident and capture images of the tropical fruits that were around me. Most of these are very hard to find in the US. (In case you want to compare prices, there are 1850 pesos to a dollar, and 500 grams is just over a pound.)

This one is funny because in Colombia they call prickly pear higos, a word that means ‘figs’ in the Spanish Bible. Other countries call them tunas or tunos. (Tuna means ‘thorn’ in Colombia. Tuna is atún.) Figs, on the other hand, are called brevas, and you can see them just to the right in the narrow slot. (Ignore the other fruit. I’ll get to it in a minute.)

The yellow fruit below is pitahaya, ‘dragonfruit’ in English, which has purple insides. To the right you can see two types of curuba, the round kind and the cucumber-shaped kind. I remember the round ones from my childhood. They’re a little like passion fruit (maracuyá) but the color and flavor are different.

The mangos in this photo are very small and very sweet. They cost more than regular mangoes. The starfruit is called carambolo in Colombia, carambola in Costa Rica.

Lulos are called naranjilla in Mexico. I don’t know if they have an English name. They make a tangy drink.

When I was a kid, guayabas (guava) almost always had worms unless they were picked very green. Now they sell this big guayaba pera ‘pear guava’ that variety that usually has no extra protein.

Blackberries are called moras in Spanish. When I was a kid, they grew everywhere along the roads on brambly bushes. The other fruit is tomate de árbol ‘tree tomato’. They make a juice from it but I hate it.

The little yellow papa criolla potato is wonderful. They fry them whole in carts on the street. A greasy bag of salted fried potatoes… heavenly.

The traditional aguacate ‘avocado’ can grow as big as a person’s head. These are about as big as my fist.

This variety of pineapple they call piña manzana, ‘apple pineapple’. Must be the flavor. The yellow fruit is granadilla, a mild cousin of the passion fruit.

Guanábana (the green thing) has white pulp inside. They usually make it into a juice. It can be good but it also has undertones of vomit.

I think this melon tastes a lot like cantaloupe, but I can’t remember. I don’t know what the little dried fruit in the bags is. Those are coconuts on the right.

Uchuvas are tart berries, very delicious.

And out of nowhere, he throws in a steak! It was delicious. The vegetable salad was horrible. The fries were fine.

The Exito at Unicentro now has a Mimo’s frozen yogurt stand. I thought you should know.

Bye. Working on a freelance translation project that is overdue.

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25 thoughts on “Fresh fruit in Medellín

  1. I’ll be sure to swing by for fro-yo the next time I’m in the neighborhood. Cool expo of the Exito. I used to have a problem eating mangoes due to the ‘undertones.’ From what I’ve read, many other people do, too, along with other varieties of tropical fruit.

  2. This post reminded me of my Puerto Rico! I miss our passion fruit which we call “parcha” and I love guava. I used to like guanabana juice when I was a kid. I definitely don’t like it now lol. I like any pineapple as well. My favorite fruit ever is mango! I love steak and that frozen yogurt looks good! I hope your freelance translation project is going well. Have a great weekend! 🙂

  3. The only fruit I recognize is the prickle pear even if it is not the same as our pickle pears we had in Sardinia (Italian island) where I was born and grow up.
    In Italian we call it “Fichi d’india” (Hijos de India) in Sardinia we call them “Figumorisca” (Figs of the countries of the Moors).
    The smells of the fruit in Medellin must be overwhelming to make you take a risk in taking the pictures.
    I wonder why they don’t want pictures taken? Just for the fun of forbidding?

    • I took photos in a tourist shop in the Santiago (Chile) Marriott, and they also told me it wasn’t allowed. I suppose they’re worried about the competition scouting prices? I don’t know.

      In Exito the fruit doesn’t smell as strong as in a fruit market. Refrigeration keeps the smell down.

  4. Interesting and colorful fruits. Translating the prices meant using math so I just decided to pretend it was all American dollars and be shocked! ::-) peace always

    • I think it’s an attempt to deal with competition. A few years ago, I was in the Marriott tourist shop in Santiago de Chile and was delighted to see that the merchandise was all from Costa Rica’s Café Britt company. When I took a photo, I got scolded by the cashier.

  5. j.e.glaze says:

    there are so many kinds of fruit that I’ve never heard of before. here in America, we must live in a cultural vacuum of sorts.

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