Last Updated on May 10, 2022 by Britt Ervin
Come Y Bebe is a drinkable South American fruit salad that is especially popular in Colombia and Ecuador. Whether you call it Fruit Salad or Fruit Punch, this is tropical treat is delicious and refreshing. It’s perfect for the hotter summer months!
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What is Come Y Bebe?
In Latin America popsicles are known as paletas. There are two types of paletas, one type is fruit based and the other is milk based. The milk-based one starts with a combination of coconut milk and sweetened condensed milk. These kinds of paletas are called Paletas de Coco, and fruit can be added to make numerous varieties. Some common flavors include passionfruit, mango, and papaya, which make it more tropical.
Then there are juice-based paletas, that come from a popular fruit salad called Come y Bebe. Come Y Bebe translates as Eat & Drink, since the fruit is chopped very small and served in juice so it is drinkable with a straw. This is especially popular in Ecuador and Colombia, where someone had the ingenious idea to freeze it and thus juice-based paletas were born.
Where I found Come Y Bebe
On Wednesdays, I work in Queens. I live in Brooklyn, so it’s quite a commute. A few weeks ago, it was an especially warm day. With my suitcase of supplies in tow, I needed some sustenance to provide me with energy for my 90-minute commute home. That’s when I saw this delicious-looking fruit salad and bought a cup.
Since I had my suitcase, I take the elevator at the train station, which usually finds me with elderly elevator companions. An older Colombian woman got on the elevator with me and saw me drinking my Come y Bebe fruit salad. Without request, she started a discourse on the fruit drink. She talked to me about how she prefers Come Y Bebe without banana because with banana it is very filling. All assuming I speak Spanish, which luckily, I do! She found an interested audience in me, while the other elevator passengers (moms with baby carriages) were probably wondering when she was going to be quiet, as they were rolling their eyes.
Every week the Come y Bebe fruit salad is different. I guess it depends on what fruit is on hand. Sometimes it is in watermelon juice and other times it is in orange juice or mango juice.
Inspiration for This Come Y Bebe (Tropical “Fruit Salad” Punch)
This Wednesday was the last class and my students all presented me with handwritten notes. I sometimes get tired of lugging around all the supplies I need for class. The hats, aprons, knives, and food on the trains and buses as I go to my different job sites. I’ve considered doing more corporate work which would be more lucrative, but I could never get such heartfelt satisfaction as I do from these endearing kids. These notes make it all worth it. Inspired by my students, who I will miss over the summer, I made this fruit salad that I know they would love.
Frequently Asked Questions
- orange juice
- fruit puree (made with some of the watermelon, pineapple, and papaya)
How to Make Come Y Bebe
- First make the Fruit Puree: Chop the watermelon, pineapple, and papaya into small uniform pieces. Add equal portions of each chopped fruit (for a total of about 3 1/2 cups) into a blender and blend well.
- Strain puree, then add it with the orange juice in a large pitcher.
- Add chopped fruits to the juice mix and refrigerate until chilled.
- Serve as-is or over ice.
Recipe Tips and Variations
It is important to make sure that the fruits are chopped small so that you can easily drink it up with the juice.
Even though I have used watermelon, pineapple, papaya, and bananas in my Come Y Bebe mixture, you can create this drink with any combination of fruits. I suggest trying it with peaches, mango, or nectarines.
If the fruits are already ripe and sweet you may not want to add any extra sweeteners. If you do think that it needs a little extra sweetness, I suggest adding honey or sugar to taste.
Make this an adult fruit punch “salad” with alcohol by adding a shot of rum to the drink before serving.
This recipe is great to make ahead. Prepare a batch of tropical fruit punch and keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. However, watermelon does tend to get a bit of a sour flavor after 3 days and I therefore recommend you sub with mango or nectarines – and omit the banana – if you plan to store in the fridge for the full 5 days.
Come Y Bebe – Tropical Fruit Punch
- 1 cup chopped watermelon
- 1/2 chopped pineapple about 2 cups
- 1/3 chopped papaya about 1 1/2 cups
- 2 chopped bananas
- orange juice from 7 very juicy oranges
- 3 1/2 cups mixed fruit puree strained (pineapple, papaya & watermelon)
- For the fruit puree, combine any combination of fruits in a blender. Puree well. Strain.
- Add the fruit puree to the orange juice in a large pitcher.
- Add the chopped watermelon, pineapple, papaya and banana. Stir to combine.
- Chill in the refrigerator.
This should last about 3 days in the refrigerator, but watermelon turns sour rather quickly. If you would like it to last longer, sub another fruit for the watermelon like mango, peaches or nectarines. I would also omit the banana if you want to keep it longer. With these changes, Come y Bebe will last in the refrigerator about 5 days.
For more summer drinks, I suggest these refreshing recipes:
- Caribbean Rum Punch 2 Ways
- Passion Fruit Mojito Cocktail
- Homemade Citrus Punch with Lychee
- Peruvian Chicha Morada
- Purple Yam Milkshake
Need more culinary inspiration? Check out the Recipe Index with over 1500 Recipes from Around the World with lots of Vegetarian 🥕🍆🍅and Gluten Free Recipes!