After eating lunch in the Rivas Market we walked through more of the market maze in search of handmade jewelry or trinkets. We really wanted to see what products the Nicaraguan people make rather than the usual “Made in China” products that we are used to. After three long hours of searching Chuckie could tell we were getting pretty tired and dehydrated from the heat.
So he took us to his favorite spots in the market that consisted of three chairs behind a lady making a variety of drinks. Chuckie ordered us a drink called Cacao Leche which directly translates to Chocolate Milk. This drink, however, was not the same chocolate milk I grew up with in the States. This was pure natural chocolate milk the way it was suppose to be made. Nothing but milk from a cow (literally the cow down the road), cacao beans (the beans that make pure chocolate), along with a sprinkle of sugar and some homemade ice (homemade meaning a bag was filled up with water, frozen and then chunks were chopped up with a hammer).
The nice lady threw it all together, stirred it up and then… Bam! An ice cold energizing chocolate milk. It wasn’t creamy or extra sweet but as I was chugging it, I kept wondering if this drink is what chocolate milk is really supposed to taste like. Was this how it originally tasted before getting mass produced, sugared up and processed for a quick, easy make-at-home drink?
To compliment it we had a Torta cake. This was a very simple, sweet and dense baked good. It was the perfect compliment to our reenergizing beverage. This snack really made me think about where the concept of some of my favorite processed foods came from. Other examples of natural snacks turned processed snacks are the types of foods I want to try.
Overall our trip to Rivas taught us a lot about the what to look for, what to expect, how to negotiate prices and how to navigate our way around larger markets in Nicaragua. Unfortunately, Quinn didn’t find her handmade goods she was looking for. However, we now know that if we’re looking for really cheap secondhand clothing, Rivas is the closest place for us to go. We are looking forward to exploring other markets and sharing our journeys with you.