Friday, June 06, 2008

Chicha Morada

Oh, hello there. You guys probably forgot I existed, and the truth is, I kinda forgot I existed too.

I'm here today to discuss this Venezuelan powdered drink I bought when Dylan took me to the flea market (side note- I love the flea market so much!!!!). Anyway, so there we are, wading though the grandfatherly types that hang out at the Blackfoot Flea Market (you know, the type that can build a proper shed, and wear suspenders almost every day). We'd just finished off a whole mess of tacos ('mess', by the way, is the proper pluralization of 'tacos', as 'gaggle' is to 'geese'.... Just a note for all of you kids taking the S.A.T.s this year), when we stumbled upon a teeny Latin grocery store. Now, due to the fact that we already had a taste for jazzed-up Latin food, we decided to give the shelves a bit of a gander. Dylan suggested that Mexican soda is the nectar of the gods, and boy, was he right. He bought some rice and beans, and we were on our way out, when I noticed a package.... Purple drink.

I brought the package home, and honestly forgot about it for a couple of days. However, last night, when I ran out of lemonade, I pulled out the package, poured the water and powder into a jug, and stirred it until it looked like the most deliciously grapey beverage ever. I chucked the package away, and poured myself a glass. I got busy doing something (not too sure what it was, but due to the time frame, it probably involved 'The Facts of Life', I tend to get caught up in the sexual tension between Jo and Blair), and didn't get around to tasting the juice until about half an hour later. On the first sip, I realized that the flavor was certainly not grape at all. Matter of fact, I really couldn't tell what kind of flavor I was dealing with... A non-grape purple is usually synonymous with some sort of blueberry, or blackberry, or wildberry, or even boysenberry flavor, but this stuff just kinda tasted like the Kool-Aid Man mated with a Venezuelan prostitute... Cheap and perfumey, it tasted exactly like the scent of my favorite thrift store (kind-of a good smell when you're dealing with old clothes, but perhaps not a good beverage flavor?).

I pulled the package out from the garbage to see if I could get any clues as to the dark liquid in my glass. In the corner was a small lime, and around the lime appeared to be some purple tiles. I got online and started googling some of the words on the package. At first, I searched the brand, 'Le Negritas', which has an overtly racist mascot, a slave woman. Didn't really find anything that wasn't in Spanish, so I looked up the other words on the package. A traveler's website confirmed my worst fears: those purple tiles weren't just background decoration, 'Chicha Morada' is an unfermented specialty beverage of Central and South America, made from motherfucking corn.

So, now I'm stuck looking a whole jug of purple corn-water in my fridge, and all because I couldn't resist the lure of 'purple drink'. When will I learn?

~sarah p.

p.s. Did you guys know that I'm going on vacation to Toronto at the end of the month? It's truuuue! Toronto friends, please get in touch.