The picture at left is a mango shake with chamoy, the most mindbending non-alcoholic drink in all of OC. Never heard of chamoy? Neither have most people in Orange County.
Chamoy (accent on the first syllable) starts as apricots that have been soaked in brine. The sweet liquid is mixed with salt and chile powder, then cooked down to a syrup. The dried fruit leather that's left over is called saladitos and is eaten on its own as a snack.
Natural, a Mexican fruit shop next to a Carl's Jr. on State College Boulevard in Anaheim, sells a shake called a chamoyada. A fresh mango shake is put into a cup drizzled with chamoy. A straw covered with saladitos is inserted into the drink.
The result will mess with your mind--sweet, sour, tangy, salty and spicy all at once. Once you've finished one, you'll find yourself craving it. Just remember, Natural closes at 9 p.m. And if chamoy doesn't sound like your thing, you can go for one of the bionicos (cups of cut fruit with yogurt, coconut and granola).
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Natural, 1177 S. State College Blvd., Anaheim. (714) 563-1343