Somo - Refreshing White Corn Juice

Charisma Handmade Bolivian Jewelry

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Somo (sometimes spelled zomó) is surprisingly refreshing. This healthy Bolivian juice is made from a specific type of small-kerneled white corn called "frangollo" and is light and slightly sweet. This Bolivian beverage is typical of Bolivia's Eastern tropical region and a very common part of the diet in this area.

Bolivian Food and Recipes - Somó

Somó is usually sold in large clay pots, scooped out and served by the glass, as you can see on this page. However, more "modern" street sellers have some very unusual and HUGE round thermoses on wheels as you can see on this page. Somo is one of the most consumed Eastern Bolivian drinks and you can find it easily in Pando, Beni, Santa Cruz and Tarija.

Ingredients (serves 20)

2 gallons of water
1 pound of frangollo corn
1/4 pound corn flour
1 cup of sugar
1/2 teaspoon of ground cloves
5 whole cinnamon sticks


Frangollo corn kernels are usually sold dried and are very hard. You will have to soak them in water overnight to soften them.

Place 2 gallons of water in a pot and boil. When the water is at a full boil, add the frangollo corn kernels, ground cloves, and whole cinnamon sticks. Cook until the corn is completely soft. It will begin to release some of its starch and your juice will thicken slightly.

Dilute your corn flour in a little bit of cold water. Then add this to the pot. Cook, stirring constantly to ensure your mixture doesn't thicken too much or burn. Add a little water if you need to, about 5 minutes. Your juice should not be too thick, just slightly thickened.

Remove your pot from the stove and cool the somo completely. Add the sugar. You can strain the corn if you like, or serve each glass with a little corn on the bottom. Serve very, very cold.

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