Imagine a hot summer day, the sun shines brightly and you're looking for something refreshing to beat the heat! Now, imagine a beverage that is the epitome of tropical freshness, an explosion of fruity flavors in each sip, with a touch of sweetness and an incredibly refreshing texture.
The Cholado, also known as cholao or raspao, is a typical fruit salad in the Valle del Cauca department here in Colombia. What makes it different from any other fruit salad is that it is prepared on a base of shaved ice, where the fruits, flavored syrups, and condensed milk are added.
It originates from Jamundí, Valle del Cauca, where it is typically consumed on hot days. It is attributed with properties to improve a hangover. Cholado is known as a cross between a frozen dessert, fruit cocktail, and a beverage.
The cholado is a perfect combination of flavors and textures; it's acidic, creamy, sweet, crunchy, liquid, and the best part is its fresh fruit flavor. Yes, all these sensations can be felt in just one spoonful or a small sip. It's a preparation that has become very popular in most parts of Colombia, so much so that we can find it particularly near the parks of each town or city, each one prepared with different fruits, but always with the same base of ice and condensed milk.
Undoubtedly, the best cholados are the ones prepared here in Colombia due to the immense amount of tropical fruits available. Using fruits such as soursop, passion fruit, lulo, mango, pineapple, papaya, among others. But, that doesn't mean you can't improvise using the fruit you find where you live. So try to use the fruit you like best or the one you have available at your homes to prepare these delicious cholados. I hope you enjoy it.
Flavor Mix: Can I change the fruits in the cholado?
Yes, you can change the fruits according to your taste or seasonal availability. However, banana and strawberry are quite traditional in the cholado recipe.
Tip: Choose fruits that are ripe to obtain a sweet and natural flavor.
Common mistake: Using fruits that are overripe or not ripe. This can affect the consistency and flavor of the cholado.
Ice Texture: How do I get the perfect ice texture?
To get the perfect ice texture, you can use a food processor or a blender. You must crush it until it has a snow-like consistency.
Tip: Make sure your blender can crush ice without damaging itself. Not all blenders can do it.
Common mistake: Not crushing the ice enough. The ice should have a very fine texture so that it blends well with the other ingredients.
Just Sweetness: How can I make my own syrup for the cholado?
To make your own syrup, you can combine water, fruit pulp, and sugar in a small saucepan. You should cook the mixture until the sugar dissolves and the mixture thickens.
Tip: You can experiment with different types of fruit to get different flavors of syrup.
Common mistake: Not letting the syrup cool before using it. If you add hot syrup to the ice, it will melt.
Stellar Decoration: How should I decorate the cholado?
The cholado is traditionally decorated with pieces of fresh fruit, wafer cookies, and condensed milk.
Tip: You can add a little extra color and flavor with a touch of grenadine or cherry syrup.
Common mistake: Decorating the cholado before serving it. You should do it just before serving to maintain the freshness and texture of the ingredients.
Ideal Size: What size of glass should I use for the cholado?
The cholado is traditionally served in large glasses so that you can incorporate all the fruits, ice, and syrups.
Tip: Use a transparent glass so you can see the color layers of the cholado.
Common mistake: Using a glass that is too small. You need a large glass to accommodate all the ingredients.
If you enjoy the cholado, I would recommend trying the "Lulada", a refreshing Colombian beverage made with lulo, a tropical fruit. It shares the freshness and fruit mix of the cholado, but with a unique citrus touch from the lulo.
Another similar option would be the "Mango Biche", a popular Colombian street snack consisting of green mangoes cut into strips and covered with salt, lemon, and chili. Like the cholado, it's a delicious way to enjoy fruits in a different way.
Both options are ideal to enjoy on a hot day, just like the cholado, and are excellent ways to explore the vibrant and refreshing flavors of Colombian cuisine.
- 15 medium strawberries cut into small pieces.
- 1 teaspoon of white sugar.
- 2 bananas cut into small pieces.
- 1 mango cut into small pieces.
- 2 kiwis cut into small pieces.
- Ice cubes approx. 2 cups per glass.
- Syrup for raspados of any flavor cherry (passion fruit, blackberry, to taste.)
- Condensed milk.
- 4 wafer cookies.
- 4 pieces of mango.
- 4 pieces of apple.
Blackberry Sauce (Syrup)
case you want to prepare the Syrup at home
- 2 cups of blackberry pulp
- ½ cup of water
- ¾ cup of sugar
- Place the strawberry pieces in a small container and add the sugar. Stir well and let it macerate while we cut the rest of the fruit.
- Crush the ice in a food processor or a blender.
- Then, cover the inside of each glass with condensed milk.
- Fill ¾ of each glass with the ice.
- Add the syrups on top of the ice.
- Finish filling each glass with ¼ of the quantity of each fruit.
- Cover the fruit with more condensed milk.
- And finish decorating the glasses with the pieces of mango, apple, wafer cookies, straws, and spoons. Serve immediately.
For the Syrup:
- Combine the water, fruit pulp, and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat.
- Continue cooking the mixture until the sugar dissolves, and you have a thick mixture. Let the syrup cool in the refrigerator before using it.