HEALTHY HIKER'S FOOD
IN THE ANDES
Colombians favor high energy tropical foods
for hiking, especially in high altitudes.
Three favorites (which were always in my pack)
are granadilla, pitahaya and local dark chocolate.
Granadilla (in the family of passion fruit)
have a hard orange shell, easily broken open,
revealing a gelatinous, aromatic center of
transparent slimy pulp with hard black seeds.
The insides are completely edible and delicious,
with a soft sweet perfumed taste, high in vitamins
and used for sleep disorders, depression and energy.
Pitahaya (also known as dragon fruit) are harvested
from large mountain cactus plants, and look especially unfriendly.
The sharp needles are easily removed,
and the waxy yellow exterior protects a soft white flesh
full of sweet juice and dark seeds,
which are used to treat stomach ailments
and a powerful anti-cancer prescription.
The texture and taste are surprisingly pleasant, and refreshing.
Colombian chocolate is very high in cocoa content, barely sweet,
and a perfect accompaniment to these tropical fruits.
This trio of hiker treats is a great source of energy,
anti-oxidants and natural vitamins.
(I only wish they were exported to the States.)