December 20, 2004

Paraguayan Traditions: Punch and fruits

Somehow I feel like a movie or rock'n'roll star: I have lots of fans ;). That's because days are scorching down here, with temperatures ranging in the 90s--100s (F). For this reason, one of the favorite additions to our Christmas tables is a kind of punch better known as clericó, and loads of seasonal fruits.

According to tradition, you put seasonal fruits at the bottom of the home's manger scene. These are grapes, watermelons, pineapples, plums, melons, among others. You eat these as appetizers, refreshments, in juice, or as dessert, and they are a welcome complement to the rich array of dishes particular of this celebration.

A special mention goes to the punch known as clericó. This is a punch made with pieces of the above mentioned fruits (except watermelons, which for a strange reason don't get into the mix), red wine ---yes, you got that right, Sometimes, and for added effect, a little sugar is thrown in. Occassionally, red wine can be replaced by sangría, which is a mixture of red wine and fruit juice, but this is not common.

The fact is that clericó can be delicious but, at the same time, very intoxicating. And the most troublesome part is that it is greaty enjoyed by children. That's why my parents never made it; I got to taste it when we were visiting some family.

Clericó, then, while delicious, shows clearly that each culture has aspects that are good, and others that must be abandoned or greatly regulated if we are to build a culture of God's Kingdom. Till He comes...

Posted by Rae at December 20, 2004 04:52 PM

If you're not having the clerico, can you send some to me? :)

Posted by: andy at December 20, 2004 05:08 PM

Maybe, if I prepare it :)

Posted by: Eduardo at December 20, 2004 07:55 PM
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