Close your eyes, think New York. Images you might conjure up may include hot dogs and skyscrapers, and if you've been keeping up with the times, bicycles and beards in Brooklyn. When I think back to our vacation in Bogotá, I think of fog (does he have a name?), hills, arepas and... fruits! You can't walk a block in Bogotá without encountering a fruit stand, or (more likely) a jugo — juice — vendor.
Colombia, the world's second-most bio-diverse country in the world (after Brazil), geographically close to the equator, has wide-ranging climatic conditions: tropical rain forests, savannas, deserts, highlands. It seems like pretty much every fruit imaginable grows here.
We tried a new fruit every morning, but we'll need regularly scheduled fruit-cations to Colombia to try them all.
Sweet, slimy texture, eat without chewing. Doesn't have any fragrance from the outside. I don't know why you're told not to chew it — you don't need to — but our friend Miguel said chewing it would make you sick.
Like a very tart Granadilla, intensely perfumed. When you go to a market and can smell all the fruits, the sly and seductive Lulo is responsible for most of that scent. Mostly used in a juice.
Tomate de arbol
Like a dense tomato, mildly chalky, not too sweet. To me it tasted like a cross between a papaya and a tomato, erring more on the side of the latter.
Guayaba Pera (Guava)
You've probably eaten one. This was a little chalky, sweet and very fragrant.
Curuba larga (banana passionfruit)
Similar to a granadilla, the specimen we tried was a little tart, the flavor like a mix of passionfruit and green apple.
Mango de azucar
There are many kinds of mangoes that grow here. These are small, with a soft flesh, sweet, fragrant and delicious. More fibrous than many Indian varietals, but similar in taste to a kesar.
Very sweet, but lacks a distinctive flavor. Like a cross between a kiwi and lychee. The seemingly tough skin peels off quite easily.
Fist-sized, looks like a green apple (is it one?), mildly fragrant.
Chontaduro (peach palm)
Earthy, chalky, like water chestnut. Typically cooked, or eaten with cream (I see why).
Guama pods look a lot like tamarind pods. You eat the fruit that surrounds the seed. It's got a cottony texture and is mildly sweet. The seeds, I'm told, are often used for handicrafts.
Mildly flavored, with an attractive flesh, sweet. Meghan had a jugo de feijoa one morning with her tamal.
Níspero (or mamey sapote, or zapote rojo)
The níspero has a texture similar to a ripe pear, and a mild sweet flavor. To me it tasted like a cross between a melon and chickoo (sapodilla).
Do we have favorites? Indeed. We both loved the granadillas. Meghan also loved the pitahaya. The mango de azucar was great too (but for the record, I still remain partial to Indian mangoes).