Tara is obsessed with juice. Here in Laos, her addiction has taken the form of blended ice-and-fruit(flavored)-smoothies. In every village we pass through, no matter what the size, she usually manages to spy the telltale signs of her next fix. A small table covered in plastic screw-top jugs, all filled with colorful powders is a dead giveaway. Unlike the samples below, the flavors are usually unlabeled.
Each time it is the same: Tara unscrews the containers one at a time, smelling for the perfect flavor. She finds hers quickly, a pale green honeydew melon that must be carefully differentiated between the identical-looking green tea. I usually opt for chocolate or coffee, if anything. Once we've picked from the colorful array of choices, a few scoops go into a blender, along with ice, sugary syrup, colorful powder, and condensed milk.
Lao smoothies are the perfect treat for a hot Southeast Asian afternoon. Tara's note: or morning, mid-afternoon, evening or night!