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The term ‘salpicón’ in Spanish means medley. Depending where in Latin America, ‘salpicon’ can address different dishes, which are usually salty and include meat. But generally speaking, it is a mix consisting in several diced or minced ingredients soaked in some type of sauce.

Colombia is the only Latin American country which refers to ‘salpicón’ as a sweet snack. It is the marriage between a fruit salad and a smoothie, making the best of both worlds. I’ve seen the most popular Colombian ‘salpicón’ recipes on the internet and they don’t really represent the local recipe here in Bogota. They have thick cuts of grapes, apples, pineapple and other fruits, something which is not in the local recipe.

Colombian Street Salpicón
Salpicón menu with fresh papaya above con Canela

The real local street ‘salpicón’ consists of very ripe papaya, banana, watermelon and mango diced into pieces no smaller than 1 centimeter and bathed in a puree of what seems to be watermelon and papaya. Everything is so mixed and thinly cut that you can’t tell what is what and the fruits all melt in a delicious blend on the tongue without hardly any chewing. Not to mention the fruit are so ripe and sweet it’s hard to believe no sugar is added. Like I said, perfect combination of a smoothie and fruit salad.

I’ve seen other street versions with peach and strawberry added to the mix but they are usually more watered down and flavors don’t melt together as well.

The sweet blend is offered several ways:

  1. Instead of using solely fruit puree to bathe the fruit they will replace it with Colombina soda.
  2.  Different toppings are on offer including cream, cheese, ice cream or all three if your heart so desires.

I like mine as plain as possible and ‘au naturel’ without any toppings or soda. Although you can get yours on portable street carts, I found the tastiest blend to belong to a specialized ‘salpicón’ place in my neighborhood. So for $2,600 pesos I relish in a large portion of fresh fruit in its own juice. It makes for an amazing breakfast, midday snack and/or dessert.

This story originally appeared on the website Realistic Healthy by Jade Longelin. Be sure to check out her journey of trying to live healthy amongst the meat-ridden, fried cheesy carb filled specialties of the region. 

Colombian salpicón fruit shopcon Canela