“What a beautiful place you have in Colombia. Its views, the weather, the joyful and kind attitude of the people, but above all, the spectacular colors and delicious flavors you can see and taste in the different fruit stalls of the Historical Center of Cartagena.” Although she had already visited several Caribbean countries, Mary Ann, a tourist from Londres, England, was really shocked and fell in love with the immense variety of tropical fruits that can be seen in the streets of La Heroica.
Mangoes, tangerines, pineapples, papayas, watermelons, coconuts, oranges, torombolos, as well as avocados of different kinds and sizes, among many others fruits from regions nearby Cartagena, are sold in carts and, for their colors and textures, garnish the Historical Center of the city, where natives and visitors from all over the world come to buy lots of fruits of the best quality.
In her different visits to Cartagena’s downtown, Mary Ann did not waist the opportunity to try again and again the various flavors out of this great diversity of natural products that reach the diners’ palates straight from the crops of the area.
You can also be interested: Folkloric dances, living tradition of Cartagena
“One day, I only bought green fruits and veggies. The variety in the nuances, shapes and, of course, flavors, is really amazing. A green mango that I ate with a little pepper and lemon, just how I was recommended; a couple of oranges, green on the outside but really juicy; an avocado that melts in the mouth, and a refreshing and large cucumber. The next day, I was really eager to taste the “salpicón”, a really delicious drink based on a watermelon juice with a mix of fruits. It is truly delicious and a great option to cool off from the intense heat you can feel in Cartagena sometimes.
I also took advantage of the morning to enjoy the tangerines, acid and sweet at the same time. Without even noticing I ate at least five.
Definitely I think that soda should not exist in the menu of Cartagena. With the exquisite offer of natural juices, whether in water or milk, you could spend more than a week without having to repeat a flavor. “Lulo”, “guanábana”, “corozo”, “guayaba”, “zapote”, tree tomato, tamarind, are just some of the ones I enjoyed during my time in the rich and tasty Cartagena”, Mary Ann told us really exited.
This spectacular sale of fruits and natural products outdoors, besides inviting to taste and delight with varied and exquisite flavors, is also a striking display of colors and shapes that prove that Cartagena and its surroundings are full of fertile lands.
More experiences in Cartagena de Indias: The natural charms of “La Ciénaga de La Virgen”
Finally, Mary Ann also fell in love with the “Palenqueras” that stroll through the streets and squares of the Historical Center of Cartagena. “Only these women are capable to carry a considerable weight over their heads and, at the same time, have the energy and flavor to wiggle with the infectious Caribbean rhythms. Their cheerful attitude, as well as a presence that shares tenacity and wisdom, turns them into something more than fruits sellers: These women are ambassadors of Cartagena, and definitely one of the most powerful iconic elements of the region. Long life for them, and long life for the traditions that are the true treasure of the city.”
Before returning to London, where, according to her, a cold city awaits her, we accompanied her to stock up on some fruits and preserves that she could bring back. “How I would like to cultivate some of these in England. It would surely fill our city, not just of colors, but also with a much warmer and friendlier attitude.” While carefully packing her things on the suitcase, she also took the opportunity to eat the last few bites and enjoy this incredible range of flavors and colors that La Heroica offers to all its visitors.
When we said goodbye to Mary Ann, we stoped to think about how good it would be that someday we value our beloved Cartagena and the rest of the country in the way that tourists do, as the treasure that it really is.