Can you imagine devouring a sweet tropical mango that has been sprinkled with salt, lemon juice, ground chile and “chamoy” – a sort of viscous sweet and sour sauce?
For Hispanics, that is common, although for others that may not be so, says Sandra Alcántara, a cook at Antojitos Mexicanos, a food stand near Plaza Santa Cecilia, Tulsa, Oklahoma.
“We Hispanics love that,” Alcántara said while preparing an assortment of tropical fruits with spicy seasonings. “For others, this is something new, very odd. They taste it carefully and then they like it a lot. “
For Alex Ojeda, a native of the Mexican coastal state of Quintana Roo, fruit with spicy additives takes him back to his homeland. “I come from the sea,” he said. “So when I eat my fruit with ‘picante,’ it’s like I’m in Cozumel.”
Alcántara, who is originally from the state of Michoacan in Mexico, has been working for a year at the fruit stand. “People eat it all the time,” she said. “When it is cold or hot, people ask for it.”
So, now you know: When eating a mango or a watermelon, enhance the flavor with some spicy ‘picante.’
Photos by Juan Miret