Farmers' Market Inspiration: Aguas Frescas

Farmers' Market Inspiration: Aguas Frescas

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Emily Han
Aug 10, 2009
It's a familiar and welcome sight at farmers' markets and street fairs around Southern California and other places with Latin American communities: the aguas frescas vendor with jars of cool, colorful beverages made from fruits and flowers like watermelon, tamarind, hibiscus, and lime. Do you have a favorite flavor? Have you made agua fresca at home? Aguas frescas, or "fresh waters," are usually simple combinations of fresh fruit and water. Some incorporate flowers, grains, and seeds. A little sweetener might be added, but ripe ingredients like cantaloupe, pineapple, and strawberries often don't even need sugar. Refreshing rather than cloying, aguas frescas are the perfect thirst-quencher while strolling through a street fair, picnicking in the park, or just trying to beat the heat at home. Making agua fresca is also a great way to use seasonal fruits – alone, in combination with each other, or with herbs. Here are some recipes for classic and inspired agua fresca flavors, but the basic concept of fruit + water + sweetener + ice is easy to play with on your own. Let us know if you have any ideas! • Agua Fresca De Fruta (Basic Fruit Recipe), from BajaCalifornia.com • Agua de Jamaica (Hibiscus), from 101 Cookbooks • Agua de Sandia (Watermelon), from MexConnect • Agua de Tamarindo (Tamarind), from Saveur • Agua Fresca with Cucumber and Lime, from LA Times • Pineapple Ginger, Cucumber Lemongrass, and Strawberry Thyme Aguas Frescas, from Matt Bites Related: Recipe Review: Cucumber Ice Pops With Lime & Chile (Images: Flickr members p200eric licensed under Creative Commons and finna dat licensed under Creative Commons)
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