Colombian Salpicón – Fruit Medley

Jun 20, 2020Recipes, Snack

Honestly, I don’t  remember my first encounter with  Salpicón  being in Colombia. Perhaps my earliest memory of  this treat is later in my teens, here in NYC. Making Salpicón at home in Queens in the late 80’s was a major culinary accomplishment.The  majority of Latin American ingredients were not easily available, if at all !! Things have dramatically changed since then and the most common ingredients used in Colombian cuisine can now be found not only in specialty Latin American stores, but also in many supermarkets, bodegas and the like in the five  boroughs.

But …. what is exactly Salpicon ? According to The Food Lover’s Companion   a French term describing cooked, diced ingredients  bound  with a sauce (for savory ingredients) or syrup or cream (for fruit mixtures) and  used for for fillings or garnishes …….”  That is exactly what Colombian Salpicón is, diced  tropical fruit bound  with a sweet and cold  carbonated beverage or fruit juice and topped with condensed milk or ice cream!!! How sinful is that !

Like many other Colombian dishes there are many versions of this drink, such as Salpicón de Baudilia  from el Cauca ; which includes pineapple,lulo,papaya,soursop,piñuela,blackberry of Castilla and shaved ice.

This  version is my mother’s recipe  and it’s the most commonly served by the local street vendors in Medellin.  It’s a combination of equal amounts of apples, bananas, oranges ,papaya and pineapple in a broth of  Popular or Colombiana ( (both Colombian sodas ) and finally topped with  either condensed milk or vanilla ice cream. My mother prefers to use Popular in her recipe, but you will find it difficult to obtain even in the food Mecca of Queens. Feel free to use Colombiana, any orange flavored soda such as Fanta or orange juice.

 A couple of tips to a foolproof  Salpicón :

 Always use fresh fruit that is fully ripe, this is especially true for pineapples, a pineapple that is not fully ripe will ruin your Salpicón.

The same holds true for the oranges, you want them to add  sweetness not bitterness. In order to avoid such bitterness make sure to only use Navel  oranges, dice them so that there is no pith left behind and add them at the end  to your Salpicón.