Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Rediscovering Mr Freezie

Several weeks ago we were out driving in the early evening and I was overcome with thirst. I craved something cold and refreshing. Along came one of the Tuggui cart men. I have never bought anything from them before, but I was feeling adventurous. So we pulled up and asked what flavor of freezies he had. Pina, limon, uva, fresa (pineapple, lemon, grape, strawberry). We both ordered limon; the man pulled out two lime freezies, wiped them with a cloth, wrapped them in a napkin, and handed them to us. The cost? 5 pesos each.

I asked the man to open my freezie, and both he and Miguel looked at me like they didn't understand my question. "Just tear it with your teeth", said Miguel. Oh, ok - I guess I forgot how I used to open these as a child.

I nipped at the corner, spit out the little piece of plastic bag, tested the hole, nipped some more, and continued until I was satisfied with my work. Then I proceeded to draw the cold, sweet liquid out as fast as I could. With the heat, it melted fairly quickly. And it quenched my thirst.We both worked our freezies as we drove along, and we were color coordinated with the golf cart - lime green, just like Limey!

When I had sucked out most of the green liquid, I was left with a pale sliver of ice, which I chewed on through the plastic bag to break it up and eat it. Very refreshing.

Miguel tells me those freezies are homemade - the family owns the business and they have employees who push the carts all over the island. Most of the employees are pretty old, it must be tough work pushing those carts in the heat and sun. Inside the cart are freezies, popsicles, and square bags of frozen chocolate and coconut milk.

The other day we were thirsty again and drove all through La Gloria looking for the Tuggui cart. We passed a small store and outside stood a little girl with a green freezie. We backed up and Miguel asked her where she got her 'saborina' (what they call freezies). She pointed inside the store, so I went in and bought two lime freezies - obviously bought from a commercial outlet, not from the Tuggui cart. The freezie was only 2 pesos but after we tasted, we knew why - the flavor was strong and tasted artificial, not delicious like the Tuggui cart. And of course, right after we turned the corner, we passed the Tuggui cart on one of the side streets. Miguel offered to stop so we could buy from the cart, but we already had our freezies so I declined and we continued on our way.

We finished our freezies under the trees in the parking lot across from the market in Canotal - we didn't really enjoy them, but they quenched the thirst.

The other day at the beach, along came the Tuggui cart man. Miguel called to him to come over, but it took about 20 minutes before he dealt with all the kids who ran over to buy their freezies and popsicles. The Tuggui cart did a booming business in that little section of beach - all Mexicans, lots of small kids. And Sue and Miguel amongst them, all sucking down the cold sweet liquid of the saborina.


Jane said...

You described these so well, I'm definitely going to buy one (or more) during my next visit.

Ann said...

Great postt! even though I haven't been commenting much, I've been trying to keep up with your blog--I enjoy your stories!

jeanie said...

Love it Sue!! What does Tuggui mean? I don't think that were popular when I was a child but my son loved them and I think we called the Mr.Freezie here. My oldest doggie could spend an entire afternoon with one under a tree.

Anonymous said...

wish I had one right now! dujy

Dorgon said...

Excellent piece,Sue. I really enjoyed it. I felt as though I was the one experiencing the wonderful saborina.

Moongrl722 said...

Yum! I want a pineapple one!! What's Uva?

Sue said...

Jane - when you're hot, they are great to refresh you. Hope you try one!

Ann - ditto, I don't comment much either but I am reading.

Jeanie - I asked Miguel, and Tuggui is the name of a panda bear here in Mexico, and the owner of the business is nicknamed "Tuggui" because he's big like a bear (this is Miguel's story, I'm just retelling it). Can't imagine a dog liking the sweet juice, too funny!

Dujy - what flavor?

Dorgon - you will have to try one next time you're here, they even come through our colonia.

Moongirl - uva is 'grape' - it's not a bright purple color, like the ones you buy in the store, it's sort of a muted purple. I had a pina one last night, it was mostly melted when he handed it to me - it was sweet and refreshing. Yum!

Sandia said...

Uva is grape, fresa is strawberry, sandia is watermelon....thanks for the historical perspective on Tuggui, I always saw the carts but [frankly] was afraid to eat them as I wasn't sure if it was a fly-by-night operation- LOL...now I WILL! Love your blog. Sandia

Life's a Beach! said...

Just catching up on blogs now that I have a connection! You're making me so homesick! Can't wait until my next trip!

Anonymous said...

Now I wanna know about the ice!!!

Isla Chica
aka Linda

Islagringo said...

As a tourist, we used to buy popsicles from these carts everyday on the beach. We didn't know how to pronounce Tuggui so we called them the Tuggy carts, since the guy had to push and pull it through the sand! Have you ever tried the corn one? It's like frozen cream corn on a stick. Not to my taste but definately something different!