Fresh and Tangy is how I chose to describe these fruits and veggies served with lime, salt and chili (toppings optional of course). In Mexico these are, 'cocktails de fruta.' Growing up as a teenager in San Diego, one of my favorite things to get when we crossed the border into Baja was a fruit cocktail! Awwwe...my mouth waters just thinking about it! If you haven't been south of the border, let me describe it for you.
Now for the sake of making this sound appetizing, I will leave out the part about the flies, bees, lack of running water to wash anything in and basically the whole lack of cleanliness period! When in Rome...or Mexico in this case, sometimes you have to close your eyes, put your fingers in your ears and say, 'lalala.'
Okay, so there are these little carts in the streets, usually at the street corners, attended by one, sometimes two people if it's a busy spot, and they are full of watermelon, other melons, pineapple, coconut, cucumbers, and jicama....options vary depending on the cart you get. Everything is picked ripe, it is not picked green, put on truck and driven hundreds of miles to the grocery store like it is here in the U.S., so it all tastes AMAZING!
They slice the fruit into chunks or rajas (long slices) and there is a choice of toppings, basically lime, chili and salt. So you choose the fruit you want and they put it in a plastic cup and squeeze fresh lime all over it and sprinkle (or in some cases dowse) with chili powder and salt. And there you go...Fresh Tangy and Spicy Cocktail de Fruta! The first couple of years that I ate these, I did without the lime, chili and salt. After all, I didn't want to ruin the flavor of my sweet delicious fruit! Then after a while I would get two separate cocktails, one sweet and fresh with watermelon, melon, and pineapple and the other tangy and spicy with coconut, jicama, and cucumber dowsed in lime, chili and salt. Later, I got more adventerous, and I started to mix the sweet, sour and spicy and learned to LOVE IT!!!
So time to make your own! Here is our home variation:
Jicama peeled and sliced:
Squeeze lime over the top of whatever fruit or vegetable you have. Here we have jicama, cucumber, shredded carrots, watermelon, and pineapple:
Then sprinkle the salt and chili:
Now even if you don't like the lime and/or chili powder on everything, I hope this at least inspires you to chop up some fresh fruit and make whatever fruit cocktail you enjoy. The honey dew melons and cantaloupe are good right now! Cherries are great too. Be creative, mix it up a little and Enjoy!