The Dominican Papaya Milkshake Scam—and How to Avoid It

I haven’t been feeling well lately, and it’s not just because I’m back in New Jersey’s crappy cold weather after enjoying wonderful 80-degree weather in the Dominican Republic. There’s something far more serious going on with me.

See, while I was away, I became addicted to the DR’s truly perfect papaya milkshakes, known as “batida de lechosa.” There was something about them,  a secret ingredient perhaps, that made them my all-time favorite tropical fruit smoothie…ever. And that’s a big deal given the fact that I once lived in Ecuador, a country with pineapple, passion fruit and yes, even mango.

Double fisting the fruit juice

Papaya shake addict, giving in to his urges

So what’s my diagnosis? What life-threatening illness am I suffering from?

Papaya Shake Withdrawal Syndrome

Or PSWS–for those who like acronyms.

There are mornings when I wake up and reach for one—and when I realize that I can’t have one, I get a bit, um, shaky (excuse the pun, please).

And so, since returning home, I’d been obsessing a bit. Wondering how I might get my hands on a real papaya milkshake—one that tastes as good as what I had in the DR. A few days ago, I turned to the experts—my ESL students from the Dominican Republic.

See, I figured they, too, suffered from PSWS. They would know how/where I could get my fix.

And sure enough, they did. And they all said the same thing.

“Banana King in Paterson, NJ”

“Banana King? What’s that?” I asked naively. It sounded silly to me, like a Burger King for fruitarians or quirky vegetarians.

One student issued a warning–one that sent a chill up my spine. “Teacher,” she said. “I think it’s a fast food place. Like a Colombian McDonald’s.”

The others, however (addicts, I’m sure), told me to go for it. They said that at Banana King, one can get a papaya shake that’s “very similar to what you can get in the DR.”

I was sold.

Then, someone gave me a hot tip that made all the difference. A student, who seemed super addicted, said, “Make sure you get Carnation.” Although I was envisioning pink and white flowers, wondering what the heck she meant, something about what she said seemed right.

“Carnation?” I asked.

“The milk in a can,” she answered. I then realized she meant that old-fashioned evaporated milk. The kind that people use for baking. Or in their coffee if they’re snowed in.

“OK,” I said. I knew it was fattening, but I didn’t care. I would do whatever it took to recreate the Dominican papaya shake experience. That’s how desperate—I mean, determined—I was to have a really good ‘batida de lechosa’ in my own country.

Speeding Over to Banana King

So, after class on Thursday night, I programmed my GPS for 390 21st Ave, Paterson, and set off on my quest—a mini/local Chicky Bus adventure, if you will. I’ll admit that I was speeding to get there. That’s how obsessed—I mean, eager—I was.

Banana King

Banana King

My mouth was salivating when I arrived. I could barely contain myself as I imagined the shake I’d soon be imbibing. Of course, like an over-eager fool, I got on the wrong line and wasted about 5 minutes. I was standing near the “shake maker” (a young Peruvian man?), not the cashier.

Papaya Shake Maker

Frozen papaya

Frozen papaya

Fortunately, I soon realized and corrected my error.

Placing My Order With Jesús

I got on the other line and began to plan out my order.  The shake was $3.00. The “Carnation”  was listed at 75 cents. It seemed reasonable. After all, they were using fresh/frozen papaya and name-brand evaporated milk. Carnation. Besides, where the hell else would I be able to get a good papaya shake at 9 pm on a weeknight? It was worth paying 75 cents to get the real thing.

“Qué le gustaría?” the cashier (Colombian?) asked me. His name tag said “Jesús.”

Jesus, the cashier

Jesús, the cashier, taking my money. NOTE: Per the menu, the price of Carnation is 75 cents.

“Batida de lechosa,” I said, in Dominican Spanish (in many countries, papaya is simply called papaya), hoping to impress him. It didn’t work, though. He didn’t even crack a smile. He was all business as he asked his second question.

“Con Carnation?”

“Yeah, sure,” I said, acting as if it was a mere after-thought. Of course, I knew I was going to order it. It was, after all, the magic ingredient. I just didn’t want to appear too eager.

“$4.82,” he said, extending his hand for my $5 bill.

“OK,” I said, paying and wondering, briefly, why the price was so high. I also wondered why no Dominicans were making the shakes. This concerned me. Made me superstitious. The way I feel in a pizzeria that lacks Italians. I then realized that they were the customers. Just like me.

When I got my receipt and looked at it, while waiting on line near the shake maker, I noticed something that really upset me.

The Carnation Scam

I’d been charged $1.50 for the “Carnation”—not 75 cents.

“Excuse me,” I said. “I thought the Carnation was only 75 cents.”

“Well, it is—if you ask for half Carnation and half milk. You didn’t say that.”

“But your menu doesn’t say there are two options. It just lists Carnation for 75 cents. And that’s just not right. I want my money back. The 75 cents, I mean.”

The Evidence

The Evidence

“Sorry, but I don’t have change.” I almost LOLed, but I was too upset to. I wasn’t in the mood to argue with Jesús. Also, I felt a hint of PTSD–a flashback to “no change” scenarios I’ve come across repeatedly while traveling, when the bills you get after changing dollars are too large to break.

Of course, my anger didn’t last long. The shake maker was now handing me my ‘batida de lechosa.’ I forgot about Jesús and the 75 cents he owed me. My hands nearly shook with excitement as I reached out to take it.

The big moment had arrived.

I walked the shake over to a table and sat down. I really wanted to be in the moment for this–to be sitting at a table for the experience.  Not to be drinking the shake while driving. That’s illegal, isn’t it? More importantly, it was just too dangerous. Too out of the moment.

I put the straw inside and began to drink the papaya shake, savoring every second of it. It was excellent. Wonderful. Delicious. Rico.

Me about to enjoy a Papaya Shake

Me, digging the shake, but longing for a real one....and wondering why my nose looks so odd in this photo. Oh yeah, it's the wide angle creating distortion.

A Good Shake, But Was It Good Enough?

In fact, it reminded me of one of the shakes I had in a village in the DR. Note the operative word here—reminded. It was a a bit too sweet, however, and not quite the same. Perhaps freezer burn on the papaya had ruined it? Or maybe the shake maker had added too much white cane sugar to the blender?

Still, I was happy. It was close enough. Good enough. Sort of.

Except for one thing.

The Carnation scam.

I’m not talking about the 75-cent rip-off, which you may assume I’ve been dwelling on. Wrong. Instead, I was now upset about the “bait and switch” that had been pulled. A second scam.

Carnation Scam #2

See, at one point, I visited the shake maker one last time, to photograph the can of Carnation, and I saw something that surprised, disappointed and shocked me.

It was not name-brand Carnation that had been added to my shake.

It was some sort of generic evaporated milk. A huge can of it. With a silly cow on it. And it looked like it had come from BJs or Costco. The markup must have been 5000%, too. What the hell?

Generic Carnation Milk

Generic Carnation Milk

How could they do that? It was wrong, I tell you. Simply wrong.

While sucking down the last bit of my shake, I wondered if I should “complain to a manager” or better yet, report Banana King to the Better Business Bureau. But then I thought—nah, that would be silly. They might rip up my complaint. Or worse yet, laugh at me.


Taking Matters Into My Own Hands–aka, Avoiding Future Shake Scams

Instead, I decided, I would learn from the experience and take matters into my own hands. I would buy my own papaya for $3 at Corrado’s, a local ethnic supermarket (which is where many of my students shop) the next day, and a can of real Carnation and make my own shake. In my generic Magic Bullet mini blender that I got on clearance at Macy’s.

That’s exactly what I did. And guess what?

It was better than the Banana King shake! And it tasted just like (OK, 95% like) the one I had in the DR. That’s right, I made a shake just like my friend’s mom did in a village. And it was amazing. Excellent. Rico. Delicious!

And I’ve made 5 other shakes since then—all for less than $5. With just one papaya. I think I’ve saved over $25 so far. High 5!

I now realize that while all of my students were right—one of them really had the inside scoop. Like she said, Banana King is a bit like a Colombian McDonald’s. Or maybe a quirky vegetarian Burger King. And an overpriced one at that.

I also realize that while it’s hard to recreate something you’ve had in another country, especially a tropical juice shake, sometimes—with enough determination—you can. I’m proud to say that I did.

Secret Papaya Shake Recipe

And now, I share the secret recipe with you…(donations can be sent to my PayPal account–gracias.)

  • 2-3 cups of fresh papaya, cut into small chunks (larger OK for large blender)
  • 3/4 cup of Carnation (or generic equivalent) evaporated milk. 2% works fine, by the way, and no sugar added is best
  • 1/2 cup of milk (almond works great and I would imagine that soy is OK, too)
  • Sweetener of some sort (some say brown sugar is good; I used Agave nectar); use as much as you want/need
  • A dash of vanilla extract (optional)
  • Ice

Blend and enjoy!

How About You? Any Juicy Tales To Share?

What’s your favorite tropical fruit juice shake? Do you like it with water or milk? Which country did you enjoy it in? Were you able to recreate it back in your home country? If so, please share the secret.

Have you ever been scammed at Banana King? Or maybe Papaya King (I think there’s one of those, too.) How about the other ‘Kings’ out there? If so, what happened?

(Photo credit for the first image goes to Meg and Raul over on Flickr. Gracias!)

Evaporated vs Condensed Milk

The difference between these kinds of milk products can be confusing. They sound the same, don’t they? Well, they’re not.

Evaporated milk simply has approximately 60% of the water removed from it with Vitamin D added (the only sugar in it is naturally occurring). Condensed milk, which undergoes the same evaporation process, is about 45% sugar (which is added). It’s sweet and sticky. Note: If sugar weren’t added to it, then it would be…evaporated milk.

To learn more, check out these links:

Condensed Milk vs Evaporated Milk

What is the difference between evaporated and sweetened condensed milk?

58 Responses to The Dominican Papaya Milkshake Scam—and How to Avoid It
  1. Grey
    January 23, 2012 | 7:55 am

    I remember a sad moment in La Union in the Philippines. I was scammed by a walking vendor on the street. But I soon realized that the vendor was just making his lifestyle miserable because of scamming and earning money the the hard way. Your post triggered my emotions.

  2. Stephanie - The Travel Chica
    January 23, 2012 | 8:01 am

    The licuados in El Salfavor were my favorite! I probably had one everyday for lunch.

    So annoying that the Banana King is scamming people with their fake Carnation and price-switching. Glad you figured out the secret recipe on your own and can enjoy as many Papaya shakes as you want :-)
    Stephanie – The Travel Chica recently posted..One for the Bucket List: Trekking on a GlacierMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      January 23, 2012 | 4:14 pm

      Hola, Stephanie. I recall some yummy fruit drink in El Salvador, too. Great stuff!

      Re: BK…they really have a lot of nerve, I think. I wish Eyewitness News would get in there and do an Exposé or something! Anyway, from now on, I making my own! :)

  3. Gray
    January 23, 2012 | 1:18 pm

    This is frigging hilarious, Lisa! I was laughing harder and harder the more I read. Congratulations on figuring out how to feed your new addiction. ;-)
    Gray recently posted..My Travels From A to ZMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      January 23, 2012 | 4:16 pm

      Gray–So glad you liked it and were so entertained. Excelente! It was such a loco experience, I just had to get it down on paper. I’m sure my students will get a kick out of it since they started it, technically–LOL.

  4. Jeff Titelius
    January 23, 2012 | 4:58 pm

    This was absolutely hilarious reading despite the fact that I was drooling all the way through it. You really are funny and thanks for lifting my spirits at the end of a long and tiring day!!
    Jeff Titelius recently posted..In Pursuit of Provence, France—Hilltop Towns and Fields of LavenderMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      January 23, 2012 | 5:51 pm

      Hey, Jeff. I’m happy to hear that you read my quirky little tale and laughed as much as you did…awesome! Means I did my job well. :) And better yet that it happened at the end of a day when you really needed it…that’s even better!

  5. jack lowry
    January 23, 2012 | 6:01 pm

    God damn Scambogerie I say. I’m notifying Al Sharpton!

    • CB Driver
      January 23, 2012 | 11:04 pm

      LOL…yes, a clear case of Scambogerie! Maybe Al would hold a press conference right in front of Banana King…would be fun to watch this, I think…

  6. jack lowry
    January 23, 2012 | 6:02 pm


    • CB Driver
      January 23, 2012 | 11:05 pm

      I hear there’s a special shake now for dogs. Just 75 cents for Carnation. I wonder, though, if that might be a scam…

  7. Jools Stone
    January 23, 2012 | 7:30 pm

    Outrageous! I am literally shaking with rage for you! There’s got to be some sort of Papaya Shake Ombudsman you can report this to – and if not I’m damn well appointing you!
    P.S: Keep me posted for how you now rank for ‘Papaya Shake Ombudsman’ :)
    Jools Stone recently posted..Olympic Security Secrets Left On A Train!My Profile

    • CB Driver
      January 23, 2012 | 11:07 pm

      HI, Jools. Can you believe this madness? I appreciate that you’re commiserating and empathizing…and shaking…it really makes the ordeal that much easier for me. I really like the idea of a Papaya Shake Ombudsman. I wonder if President Obama would considering creating such a position. It’s really important, I think, that we make this a permanent position and maybe even add it to the Cabinet.

      Re: Google searches for the PSO….I don’t know. I wonder….LOL!

  8. Marsha
    January 23, 2012 | 7:47 pm

    Just LOL. That’s all. You are hilarious.
    Marsha recently posted..5 Highlights of Edinburgh CastleMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      January 23, 2012 | 11:08 pm

      Howdy, Marsha. So glad you laughed. Yay!! :)

  9. Neal
    January 23, 2012 | 10:37 pm

    Funny story Lisa sounds like a wonderful recipe.
    Batido de Mora is an all time favourite of mine. Sadly Super Papa closed.

    • CB Driver
      January 23, 2012 | 11:09 pm

      Hola, Neal! Glad you were entertained! It really is a great recipe. And so simple. The key, of course, is the…Carnation (LOL).

      I forgot about the mora shakes…oh yeah…they were amazing and especially at SPs. Yum! Perhaps I’ll try to make one with this recipe. I have a feeling that it would work!

  10. Maria
    January 23, 2012 | 11:14 pm

    “I wasn’t in the mood to argue with Jesús” – Oh chicky, so few people are these days.

    LOVE this post, you had me crying, from laughing so hard.

    Maria recently posted..When a Stranger CallsMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      January 23, 2012 | 11:29 pm

      Hey, Maria….I’m so glad you liked that line! I couldn’t pass it up, of course, but I knew I had to handle it a certain way. And LOL to your line re: ‘chicky’, etc. I’m overjoyed that you laughed so hard…and relieved that you didn’t have a moment of, um, urinary incontinence. Phew!

  11. Raymond @ Man On The Lam
    January 24, 2012 | 12:07 am

    Oh I hate it when they pull that “no change” business. I usually say — “that’s okay, I don’t want it now.” But in this case, I would make an exception…it sure looks goooood…. :)
    Raymond @ Man On The Lam recently posted..Manado, Monkeys and MoonshineMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      January 24, 2012 | 7:38 am

      Yeah, me too. Do you really say that? You must get some funny reactions! :)

      • Raymond @ Man On The Lam
        January 24, 2012 | 7:48 am

        It usually works — except in taxis. :)
        Raymond @ Man On The Lam recently posted..Manado, Monkeys and MoonshineMy Profile

  12. Oui
    January 26, 2012 | 1:16 pm

    I am unclear from the pictures and your comments if it is evaporated Carnation milk or sweetened condensed Carnation milk.

    • CB Driver
      January 26, 2012 | 10:43 pm

      I think it’s evaporated milk. Sweetened condensed, I think, is heavy (like cream)–and way too sweet.

  13. Giovani
    January 26, 2012 | 1:56 pm

    Seems like you always have some kind a crazy adventure. I was surprised that the same students who recommended that you go to Banana King didn’t give you the heads up. Honestly, it’s a completely scam what they’re doing and I agree with you. Remember that a delicious meal and drink are always better when someone makes it her/himself. Next time add two drops of vanilla syrup and one scoop of papaya or any flavor of ice cream. It will taste delicious and you won’t taste the ice cream at all. I promise that. drinking alcohol inside your car is illegal, but drinking juice or a shake is not.

    • CB Driver
      January 26, 2012 | 10:47 pm

      Hi, Gio. Yes, no matter where I go, these types of things tend to happen! I was also surprised that no one warned me about the scam. Hmmm.

      I just made a shake–papaya, of course–and added the vanilla. Nice touch!

      I’ll be sure not to drink and drive. :)

  14. Giovani
    January 26, 2012 | 1:57 pm

    PS: I wonder what would it happen if Jesus were one of your ESL students. LOL–poor guy. Just a thought– revenge?? lol

    • CB Driver
      January 26, 2012 | 10:48 pm

      That would be awful..gosh, I hope not. :)

  15. Kellie Brooks
    January 26, 2012 | 8:43 pm

    OK, now I REALLY want one of these! Time to hit the supermercado…thanks for the recipe :)

    • CB Driver
      January 26, 2012 | 10:48 pm

      Hi, Kellie! I just made one. Hope you find a great papaya and make the best shake ever! :)

  16. Nelfa Fernandez
    January 27, 2012 | 7:36 pm

    Hello, teacher! I have read your article about the papaya shake. It was very interesting and funny. I couldn’t stop reading and that means a lot to me because I’m I get bored easily.

    Let me tell you–I’m Dominican and I love that papaya shake too, so I know exactly how you feel when you drink it because it is delicious. I totally agree with you! I also like passion fruit blend and I tried it at Banana King the first time, but after being there a few times, I started to feel mistreated because they did not care when I complained that the shake was kind of too sweet and I specifically asked them for what I wanted, but they kept doing it the same way. I also thought it was a little bit expensive, so I stopped going to them and tried it at home. I made it the way I wanted and I liked it better.

    I found a place on Market Street in Paterson, a small Dominican restaurant that makes good juices and next time I see you, I will tell you exactly where it is. You may like it.

    We talked today in class about your vacation in the DR and I thought to myself, “I have to read what she wrote.” Well, it was good. I really like it!

    • CB Driver
      January 28, 2012 | 10:38 pm

      Nelfa–Hi and thanks so much for your comment. I’m so glad that the article held your interest; that is the greatest compliment of all!

      Very interesting re: your experience at Banana King. It’s a shame that they didn’t listen to you. I hear you, too; it’s definitely too expensive and too sweet. I think they should come up with a low-fat/low sugar version. Why don’t they use 2% Carnation (the real thing) and Splenda or just half the sugar they normally put in? It might be even better that way. Glad you made your own shake at home. I’m sure it was delicious!

      I look forward to learning more about the Dominican restaurant on Market Street. Cool!

  17. Charu
    January 28, 2012 | 10:34 am

    I had a similar experience at a Smoothie King. They said they had no “real lemons” for my “lemonade.” And they were going to charge me $3.00 for concentrate juice. I said, “you’re a Smoothie King–we come to you for FRESH JUICE.” The easiest fruit to get in the world is a lemon. What’s the big deal? I left and went to Jamba Juice instead. While not a fan of JJ at least they have fresh oranges and lemons if you ask for them. But you have to ask :) Hilarious post!!
    Charu recently posted..What are Travel Bloggers’ Top Destinations in 2012?My Profile

    • CB Driver
      January 28, 2012 | 10:40 pm

      Hi, Charu. Glad you got a kick out of this story.

      As for your experience at Smoothie King…that is unbelievable. What the heck? How could they use concentrate. That’s ridiculous! Lemons are easy to get. I agree. It’s not like you were asking for a fresh guanabana juice, for crying out loud.

      I haven’t tried Jamba Juice. Good to know you can have a fresh lemonade there.

  18. Jeanette
    January 29, 2012 | 1:46 am

    Hi! Nice post, thanks for the recipe but I am also confused whether you used sweetened condensed milk or evaporated milk. 2 very different things. The can of milk you photographed clearly shows “evaporada” but it sounds like you used sweetened condensed milk. Either way, I totally want to make this shake and will probably use the sweet milk instead and cut the agave/sweetener out.
    Jeanette recently posted..Tessa Talks Au Pairing in ParisMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      January 29, 2012 | 11:02 am

      Jeanette–Hi and thanks for checking this out–and for helping me realize that I’d made a mistake when I said the milk was condensed (I went in and corrected my error). It’s actually evaporated milk that what most people use. Condensed milk is also evaporated, but it has tons of sugar added and is sweet, thick and sticky. Evaporated milk simply just has water removed and contains naturally occurring sugars. Based on what my students said, it’s the best choice. They said that they never used the sweetened condensed milk.

  19. Nate Yomadic
    January 29, 2012 | 8:03 am

    Little scams like that make me laugh so hard, making an extra 75 cents, just to lose a customer…marketing fail!

    But, thanks for the recipe, not having travelled to that part of the world, I’m eager to try one of these shakes myself. The hunt for Papaya (fresh or frozen) begins!
    Nate Yomadic recently posted..Travel the world, and travel long term. It’s easy and it’s cheap.My Profile

    • CB Driver
      January 29, 2012 | 11:04 am

      Hi, Nate. I’m happy that you got a good laugh out of this! And you’re right–what a ‘fail! They really lost me because of that scam. (I must admit, though, I’m tempted to go back and try another shake, one made with fruit that’s hard to get locally. If I do go back, I’ll tell them to give me only half Carnation–LOL.)

      Good luck with the recipe…I hope you enjoy it! PS: Make sure you get evaporated and not condensed milk. There’s been some confusion about this.

  20. Erica
    January 30, 2012 | 3:02 pm

    I’m still trying to figure out how to make the sandia ones – every time we make it it comes out too watery. /sigh
    Erica recently posted..Feeling at Home in Banos, EcuadorMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      February 2, 2012 | 7:44 am

      Hi, Erica. Great question re: how to make those. I’m not sure. I’d google it in Spanish and see what you find. Perhaps they also use ‘Carnation’? LOL But probably only a little bit for watermelon…

  21. Naomi
    February 3, 2012 | 3:11 am

    thank god for people like you who bust open the scams affecting papaya shake addicts. I mean generic evaporated milk, how could they? Good on you for beating them at their own game, and sharing the recipe. Can’t wait for the papayas on my tree to ripen!
    Naomi recently posted..I do love a good planMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      February 3, 2012 | 7:58 am

      Hi, Naomi. I’m so glad that you appreciate the investigative work that went into this. It’s important, you know? LOL I’m happy I beat them at their own game–yes!

      PS: Where do you live that you have a papaya tree? That sounds awesome!

      • Naomi
        February 3, 2012 | 8:40 am

        halfway up the west coast of Oz. not quite tropical but warm enough to grow most food year round as long as you get enough water to it. I’ve had the same papaya tree for years and its only fruited once before. If these ones don’t ripen I’ll just have to make green papaya salad instead!!
        Naomi recently posted..I do love a good planMy Profile

        • CB Driver
          February 3, 2012 | 9:00 am

          Wow–that is so cool to have a papaya tree! So it’s fruited just once? Hmmm. Maybe this will be the lucky year, due to my scam story. See, because I exposed the fraud and you acknowledged it, we’ve created positive karma for you–and the tree. I hope you get some wonderful ones! :)

          PS: I’ve never been to Oz. Someday perhaps.

          • Naomi
            February 16, 2012 | 5:22 am

            Just made my first papaya shake with your recipe and my home grown papaya. AWESOME!! Can totally see how addictive these could become….
            even wrote about it, pictures and all
            Naomi recently posted..Nowhere’s very far anymoreMy Profile

          • CB Driver
            February 16, 2012 | 7:10 am

            Hi, Naomi! I’m so glad you tried out the recipe–that is so cool! I’m really glad that you liked it. That is wonderful. Coming over to check out your post–right now! :)

          • CB Driver
            February 16, 2012 | 7:16 am

            Just checked out your post–how sweet! So glad you tried it out! PS: Left you a comment!

  22. Ida
    February 4, 2012 | 11:10 pm

    I spent a summer in the Phillipines and had the most delicious drinks ever! This included the papaya and mango versions of pretty much what you describe. (Needless to say I gained weight despite all my many activities.) Various milks, sweet milks, coconut milks, condensed milks were part of the many concoction. When I returned I went to all the Phillipino stores in the Paterson and Passaic area to try to get the milks and other various ingredients my hosts had shown me. For a while I tried, but they didn’t seem quite the same. The local fresh fruits and spices, I think, make all the distinctive differences once you have the milks straightened out. Then too, there is the travel aroma….

    • CB Driver
      February 5, 2012 | 8:37 am

      Hi, Ida. Thanks for sharing your experience! I can imagine how wonderful those drinks were there–yum! And I hear you how that weight can creep up on you. It’s the fat/sugars from the milk and the carbs in general, I’m sure. Interesting that you, too, tried to recreate the juices here in NJ. It’s not exactly the same, is it? And you’re right–it’s the local ingredients that make the difference. When I think back to the papaya shakes I had in the DR–the ones in the village where I stayed–they were made with a sort of smallish papaya that I’ve never seen here. It was round and looked different. Never tasted one quite like it, either! :)

  23. santafetraveler
    February 25, 2012 | 5:47 pm

    Thanks Banana King for motivating you to make your own at home and giving you a great story to tell. I think you did better than complaining to the manger-lol.
    santafetraveler recently posted..Photo of the week: gate at Estrella del Norte Vinyard and wine tasting roomMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      February 25, 2012 | 11:40 pm

      Hi, SFT. Yes, thanks to Banana King for that! I’m so glad I can make it my way now (although I must confess to having returned there for the guanabana shake, which is fantastic and can’t be made at home since I can’t find the fruit anywhere). Glad you enjoyed the story! :)

  24. Linda
    February 29, 2012 | 6:02 pm

    Well written! You really made me smile. We have great batitdos here with either milk or water, but not, so far as I know, evaporated milk. One bar I know does watermelon ones which are the most refreshing thing on earth on a hot day! I tried doing them at home, and whilst good, not quite the same!
    Linda recently posted..Sampling the Bright Lights of Playa de las AmericasMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      February 29, 2012 | 8:13 pm

      Thanks, Linda–glad you enjoyed it! A watermelon batido sounds great. I tried to mix the Carnation with cantaloupe and honeydew and it tasted odd. Perhaps they’re too light for it? Maybe their flavor doesn’t work with the milk? Anyway, it does seem that it’s hard to recreate these juices, but we can always try!

  25. miguel
    April 11, 2012 | 12:44 pm

    LOL! what a great post. this kind of reminds me when we got back from S.E Asia. WE got hooked on this fruit called mangostan. DAm it was sooooo amazing we could literally eat these things for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The best bit was that they were soo dam cheap too, making the experience even more delicious! anyway, when we got back to our homes in Barcelona, we went to the big “boqueria market2 to find out our cracklike fruit was also available. a soon as we bought our 4 way overpriced peices of fruit adn got home. we were deceived to see that 2 out of 4 were rotten adn honestlly not even half as good. goes to show sometime that there ‘s no place like the origins of food! Thanks for the post, got my mind thinkin of yummy food again!
    usaludos y buen provecho!
    miguel recently posted..THE DAY WE WERE WALDO – EL DÍA QUE VIAJÉ SIENDO WALLYMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      April 11, 2012 | 8:12 pm

      Hi, Miguel. Great story there! I wonder if that same fruit is sold in Indonesia. I’m scheduled to go there on May 30th. Of course, today’s quake was a bit scary. May have shaken all the fruit off the trees, right?

      Shame that when you tried to eat the same fruit in BCN, it was expensive and crappy. That sucks.

      PS: Are you originally from Spain? How did you come across my blog? Just wondering…

      • Miguel
        April 19, 2012 | 4:39 pm

        Hey CB Driver.
        Yeah I’m 100% sure you will find them In Indonesia they are a mouthfull of amazingness and very abundant! Thank god the earthquake didnt casue the harm it did in2004, I ‘m sure you won’t encounter any problems. all though they are normal around that area. :S
        yeah I am Spanish BTW and I think I stumbled on your web or found some tweet regarding a good papaya milkshake. They never make em as good as in the tropics!
        Miguel recently posted..THE DAY WE WERE WALDO – EL DÍA QUE VIAJÉ SIENDO WALLYMy Profile

        • CB Driver
          April 24, 2012 | 7:37 am

          Hola, Miguel. I can’t even imagine the yummy fruits in Indo. Can’t wait to check them out! And yeah, luckily that recent quake wasn’t a devastating one. Phew. Let’s hope all is quiet when I’m there.

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