Morelian Gazpacho Fruit Salad

Gazpacho moreliano
Morelian Gazpacho, an authentic Mexican fruit salad often sold by street vendors in plastic cups. photo (c) loppear, creative commons license cc by 2.0.
Ratings
  • Total: 20 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings

Morelia, the capital of the central Mexican state of Michoacán, has developed a distinct version of pico de gallo fruit salad. Though it shares a name with a Spanish dish, it is nothing like the cold tomato-based soup we generally associate with the term gazpacho.

Morelian Gazpacho is, like other fruit picos, a common street food consisting of a mix of fruit types. This rendition from Michoacán, however, has smaller pieces and one rather unexpected ingredient: onion! Stay with me, here, though, because the tiny amount of onion is very finely chopped and not really noticeable as a discreet flavor; it’s more of an acidic element that helps to counterbalance all the sweet fruit. You can always omit mentioning the onion to folks who are trying it for the first time. (After they try it, though, they are going to want the complete recipe.)

If it’s a hot day, your body’s going to crave this, so please give it a try.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups chopped jicama
  • 2 cups chopped fresh mango (any variety)
  • 2 cups chopped fresh pineapple
  • 2 cups chopped fresh watermelon
  • 2 Mexican limes
  • 1/4 of a small white onion
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground hot pepper* (chile piquin or similar or 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper)
  • 1 cup finely shredded or crumbled white cheese (just about any kind)
  • 2 cups orange juice
  • Optional: additional ground hot pepper and/or bottled hot sauce

Steps to Make It

*Do not use "chili powder" (spice blend intended for making chili soup) in this, as that product contains other seasonings that don't fit in with the flavors here.

  1. All the fruit should be fresh (not canned) except for maybe the pineapple, which could be canned if fresh is not available. Chop it all into small cubes of roughly the same size – no larger than, say, half an inch in size. Put all the chopped fruit into a large bowl and squeeze all the juice from the limes over it.

  2. Dice the onion as small as you can – we want it to add it as a flavor element to this dish without its being noticeable as an ingredient. Add onion to the bowl of fruit, together with the salt, ground hot pepper and/or black pepper, cheese, and orange juice.

  3. Dish into bowls or, for the street food effect, transparent disposable cups. Offer additional ground hot pepper and/or bottled hot sauce for those who wish to zip up their gazpachos even more. Serve with a spoon.

Variations on Morelian Gazpacho:

  • Include cucumber (without seeds) and/or cantaloupe in the mix of fruit, in place of or in addition to those listed in the main recipe.

  • Omit the ground hot pepper and use fresh instead: dice a seeded and deveined jalapeño pepper as finely as you can and mix it in.

  • For an additional tart note, stir in a tablespoon or so of vinegar in addition to the lime juice.