>> Tuesday, May 12, 2009

I've recently been looking through our blog's archive to find things that we've neglected to post about, and I was shocked to realize that we've never devoted a post to Eskimo.  Eskimo (pronounced eskEEEmo) is Nicaragua's main brand of ice cream.  What Eskimo lacks in quality or tastiness, it makes up for in availability; I imagine that every town, no matter how small, has at least one cooler with Eskimo popsicles for sale in some pulpería somewhere. 

Even my small training town had an Eskimo freezer and it was the perfect way to relax and gossip after a long day of Spanish classes.  We frequently ate Eskimo after our bigger group trainings, and when we moved to Masaya it was easy to keep the tradition alive since there was a full Eskimo ice cream shop just a block from our house:

One of Eskimo's most important characteristics is that the workers inside are always really mean.  I feel slight pangs of guilt for painting all Eskimos with such a wide brush, but I've eaten at many Eskimos all throughout the country, and it's just true.  If I receive a cup of ice cream after ordering a cone, that's just too bad.  If I want a three córdoba (15 cent) popcicle but only have a C$5 (25 cent) coin, I'm out of luck--I'd better just come back when I andar sencillo (have correct change), because they don't have it and I'm silly for thinking that they should keep a few córdobas around to make change themselves.

Though poor service and melty popsicles in the States would certainly earn a place on my blacklist, Eskimos here know I have no alternative and that I'll keep coming back for more.  Here's our newly-remodeled Eskimo:
And a payasito (little clown) we once got when we were out with Dora.  She was thirsty and we had forgotten to bring her a water dish, so she drank water out of the cup when we were done.
Actually, it's not quite true that we have no alternative to going to Eskimo to get some ice cream; there are also Eskimo bicycles, Nicaragua's answer to the ice cream truck.  Fruit, pillows, and universal remote controls salespeople pass down our street peddling their wares daily, so of course it makes sense for us to be able to buy popsicles as well.  The difference, though, is that while the other salespeople charge the same price for their goods whether you buy them from the door-to-door sales or at the market, the Eskimo cyclists' prices are higher; that C$3 dulce du leche popsicle is C$5 from the man on the bike--a 60% markup!
Despite the surly Eskimo employees and the general complete lack of quality, the Eskimo treats like Tu y Yo, Grande con maní, sundae royal, and Cocoa will always have a special place in my heart and hips.


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