Drinks are pretty different here too. Since the water is not safe to drink, pretty much every household has either boiled water or purified water (in large water containers). You can use the water to brush your teeth and stuff but just not to drink. More common to drink is soda. It´s oftentimes the only option to drink. Unlike the USA, strawberry, orange, and apple soda are everywhere. I prefer the strawberry personally.
Many drinks are also served in plastic bags. At school, kids buy soda in bags and drink out of them with a straw. It looks quite humorous because the students are running around with a hamburger in one hand and a bag-o-soda in the other. My first bagged drink was "batido de guineo" which is like a banana milk. All this drink is blended banana, milk, and a little bit of sugar. I tried "batido de naranjilla" in Pasaje last weekend, and it was good too. I made some last night for myself. All we had were "plátanos" in the house so I went out and asked Juan, the security guard, if it would still taste alright if I used it (many times I go out and ask him about cooking things). It was good.
Since the fruits are so good, of course the juices are incredible too. What I found kind of ironic was that we have Florida orange juice because my Papá likes the taste better. The juices are fresh and usually are just the fruit with some sugar added. Common for juice (and what I am in love with) is the "tomate de arbol." The pineapple juice was great as well. One that I´m not really fond of is "tamarindo" juice. It has kind of a sharp taste and isn´t too sweet. One of my uncles told me that I should be careful with it - then he showed me the action of someone going to the bathroom. That was funny seeing that. With the Morocho´s this past weekend I drank a lot of peach juice! We also have a lot of mango juice.
Here the legal age for pretty much everything is 18. Still, pretty much every kid has already had an alcoholic beverage. My family is a fan of wine on the weekends, but most of the people here drink beer. I tasted the beer, and I think it is disgusting. I did like the "cocktail de menta" that I tried. My Papá here makes a soup here with tobasco, whiskey, and oysters (once with shrimp). There are other things in it but I don´t know what they are. This soup was quite a kick in the mouth and took a little while to get used to. I think it might have been the whiskey. I eat it now with plenty of chifles to depress the taste.
Disclaimer: I am allowed to drink by Rotary rules (can´t get inebriated or soaped).
The milk here is is either bags or cartons which is different. A lot of times I have chocolate milk and to make that they put in a chocolate called "Milo." Pretty much everyone knows what that is for reasons that I do not know. Coconut "agua" and "jugo" is also common. There are vendors who sell it on the streets. The "agua" is the milk straight from the coconut. Johnny and I got some in Pasaje and the vendor just cut a hole in the coconut and poured it right out for us. I´m not too wild about it. I haven´t had the "jugo" yet; it´s thicker and made with some other ingredients. I haven´t really had any other drinks off of the street.
In summary, I just can´t get enough of these juices!