Back in South America, I lived on the stuff. In "filled with artificial preservatives", "packaged and sealed three months ago and four countries away" Europe, it was nowhere to be seen. But now that I'm in Thailand, ever-present and ever-delicious fresh tropical juice is back! Banana, mango, coconut, orange, papaya and watermelon are just some of the varieties to be found on every street corner around here. Sadly, neither Ecuador's trademark jugo de mora ("blackberry juice") nor Brazil's sumptuous açaí are available — but the selection is nevertheless nothing to complain about. My "fresh juice twice or more daily" diet is once again in full swing, and life couldn't be better.
I popped into a cheap café in Salzburg today for lunch, and ordered something called a Fitness-Salat. I wasn't expecting much: but what I received left no room for complaints. The Fitness-Salat is a salad dish consisting of fried chicken, lettuce, tomato, corn, grated carrot, olives, egg, mozzarella cheese, and (I think) more. Tastes great: and the place that I went to served an enormous portion at a great price. Nice change from the "can't afford a decent meal" phenomenon, that I've been facing of late in Europe. I was really hungry: but even so, I struggled to finished this one.
There are many countries in South America where you can find great, fresh, delicious tropical fruit juices — from fruits such as papaya, mango, guava, passionfruit, and various berries. But only in Brazil can you find açaí. This delicious — and incredibly nutritious — fruit is found only in tropical Brazil, and it's used to make some of the most extraordinary juices and smoothies known to man. I had some açaí for breakfast this morning, and by G-d, the stuff was simply out of this world. If you're in Brazil any time soon, don't go home until you've tried some of it — and once you've tried it, you won't want to go home at all.
Gopal is a little café in Arequipa, on the corner of calles Melgar and Jerusalén, that does vegetarian and other healthy cuisine. Went there for breakfast this morning, and had the most amazing desayuno ever! An absolutely massive bowl of muesli, fresh chopped-up fruits (banana, papaya, kiwifruit, strawberry, apple, and others), and lovely cool yoghurt. Served with tea/coffee, fresh orange juice, and whole wheat bread. Really kicks you off for the day, and tastes delicious.
This evening in Pilcopata, we were wandering around the main (and only) street of town, when we saw an ambulancia parked in the middle of the road, lights blazing and loudspeakers blaring. The driver was saying through the loudspeaker that they were offering Yellow fever vaccinations to the locals, on-the-spot, and 100% free of charge. As Pilcopata is on the edge of the Peruvian jungle, I guess it is technically a Yellow fever endemic area. Great to see that they're making a real effort to try and curb the prevalence of this illness, and to protect the locals from contracting it.