So what can we actually do with fruit that doesn’t involve randalls, aging, ninja slicing, and racking?
I used to hang out with my dad on the "mean" streets of Los Angeles. Being a kid, I was hungry every 5 minutes. That meant my dad would have to find food quickly that I wouldn’t complain about. To the rescue came the street vendor around the corner who, if memory serves me right, would always have a plethora of fresh fruit in her cart.
Seeing as how the street corners aren’t really a hot spot for fruit-finding people, she had to spice it up a bit, sometimes literally. She’d have mangos on a stick with hot sauce and lime juice, coconuts that she would hack open and stuff a straw into, or my personal favorite, bionicos.
Originating from Guadalajara, bionicos is a delicious fruit salad that will please just about anyone. Don’t care for fruit that much? Well what if I said this salad is slathered in condensed milk, honey, sour cream, and granola? That’s what I thought.
There is no hard and fast rule about making bionicos. It just consists of taking a bunch of your favorite fruits, dicing them up, and putting the topping ... on top! But I’ll let you in on a little secret: there are some things that will make it even better.
First: Some must-have fruits that are absolutely essential in the salad are apples, grapes or berries of some sort, and bananas. Apples lend this salad a really nice crunch. Berries or grapes are nice sweet/tart morsels that can pile up on a fork’s end. And bananas, well, they’re just tasty. Then you can add anything from raisins, mangos, melons, pineapples, and my personal favorite, papaya.
Second: There are some “don’ts” in making this salad. Like adding really juicy fruit like oranges or watermelons. All the juices will water down the “dressing” and it will fall to the bottom in this sad puddle, no longer coating your fruit.
Third: Add a little tart citrus! Half of a lemon or lime will give a nice tart punch to all of the fruit while giving contrast to the sweet dressing.
Lastly, all these “rules” are to be taken with a grain of salt because it’s your salad. You do what you want!
The dressing is pretty simple and straightforward. All you need is one part sweetened condensed milk, sour cream, about a teaspoon of honey, and some ground cinnamon. If you want to go the “healthier” route (bleh), try swapping in Greek yogurt rather than sour cream. (Un)fortunately, the sweetened condensed milk is non-negotiable for the dressing and must always be a part of the dressing. It just gives it this certain type of sweetness not found in plain sugar or tubbed whipped topping.
Finally you’ll want to top it off with some more awesomeness by adding the traditional toppings of toasted granola and shredded coconut (also toasted, if you’d like). Again with the healthier version (double bleh), you can add flax seed, raw nuts, or ch-ch-ch-chia seeds. Don’t forget the protein, bro.
In the end, just think of the salad bowl as a blank canvas where you can let your fruity dreams run wild! This will be a new favorite for the entire family, especially during those hot summer days. Try washing all of it down with a nice pilsner or a delicious Berliner Weisse. I just so happen to know where to find one ...
Bionicos del Cesar Recipe
1 Fuji apple
2 heaping tablespoons (Central American) sour cream
4 oz sweetened condensed milk
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 cup cornflakes
cinnamon (to taste)
Slice it up!
Mix it up!
Top the fruit off with dressing, cornflakes, and cinnamon
So yummy, so yummy!
|Post by Cesar Alfaro, one of our wood cellarmen. Cesar is a talented homebrewer and cheesemonger who also goes to lots of epic music shows where he unleashes his glorious flowing locks of El Salvadorian hair.|