When I peeked into the ice cream freezer at the Latino Market, I saw amongst the usual popsicles and choco-bananas, something new.

“What’s that in the plastic bag?” I asked Carlos.
“Charamusca,” he said.

At 50 cents each, I decided to bring one home and give it a try. “Charamusca” in Mexico is a twisted caramel candy – but in El Salvador “Charamusca” is what they call a type of frozen treat. They come in various flavors, (the one I bought seemed to be coconut milk), but they’re frozen in plastic baggies.

Carlos showed me how to eat it: You simply bite a corner of the plastic off with your teeth, and then work it out through the hole while sucking on it.

These would be easy to make with kids over the summer: Just pour juice or a homemade fruit smoothie into plastic baggies, tie closed, and freeze. (I recommend eating them outdoors. They get sticky!)

While trying to find out more about “charamuscas”, I stumbled upon this odd music video. Say what you want about Salvadorans, but they know how to have fun.


  1. I grew up eating CHARAMUSCAS!!! and “Bolis” (Bolis were usually artificially flavored, and came in a rectangular shape – about 6 inches long).
    I loved charamuscas de marañon, coco, naranja, fresa con leche etc.
    Mi UNICO problema con las charamuscas es que mi bella gente, al terminar de comerla, tiraba la bolsa plástica al suelo y claro… las bolsas plásticas no son NADA ecológicas!

    • My kids know the word “bolis” well. LOL. The youngest is a “bolis” fanatic and would eat 12 a day during the summer if I let him. (Of course, I grew up calling them “Freeze pops” – – but the kids call them “bolis” even in front of non-Spanish speaking people because that’s just what they are to them. LOL.)

      As for the plastic bags – that was one of the things that shocked me most when I went to El Salvador. One of Carlos’s little cousins ate a snack and drank a soda from a plastic bag and then threw it out the back of the pick-up truck. I think I literally gasped, and I’m not even an “environmental type” — I told her you should never throw trash on the ground and she looked at me like I was crazy. I asked her father (Carlos’s uncle), “No tienen las comerciales aquí ‘Give a Hoot! Don’t Pollute!? – para que los niños aprenden cómo cuidar el mundo?” … He just shrugged and said, “Aquí la gente no piensan así.” — That was one of those culture shock moments for me to realize that not everyone gets brainwashed by “Woodsy the Owl” as a child. LOL.

      Imaginate si El Salvador usaba comerciales así que aprenden la gente. These kinds of commercials wouldn’t cost much. El Salvador is so beautiful – seeing the litter along the sides of the road was upsetting.

      (That reminds me – when Carlos’s uncle came to the U.S. to visit, before I had gone to visit El Salvador, he kept saying how clean the land and streets were — I didn’t understand why he was so impressed at the time!)

  2. Santo DIos, no había visto el video! Por lo menos no salen “modelos” tripudas, sólo el hombre ese con la panza que parece gelatina! Ay mi gente!
    BTW– las charamuscas no necesariamente tienen que estar congeladas!

    • Cómo bailan las mujeres! Me dan ganas de bailar así también pero no paresco igual en bikini… jajajaja… Oh well.

      Y qué piensas del hombre cantando? Ay mi madre – qué guapo es! Rico, rico… LOL.

      Las charamuscas no tienen que estar congeladas? Eso no sabía… Pero, entonces, no es sólo un “smoothie” in a bag then? LOL.

      • La verdad, Charamusca es cualquier líquido en una bolsa. Para que veas hasta donde llega el nombre que en los partidos de fut, los hombres (cochinos) hacen pipi y lo meten en la bolsa… eso se llama Charamusca de Miados! Yo sé, horrendo y asqueroso. Preguntale al chele haber que te dice!
        En cuanto a campañas de educación para mantener las calles, rios, etc limpios… qué te puedo decir! Bottom line es la falta de educación (de parte del gob y escuelas)en cuanto a todos los problemas que la suciedad conlleva. Una institución llamada Salvanatura ha estado trabajando en eso (y más). Yo les hacía los comerciales y hasta salí en uno. Salía comiendo churritos y hacía como que al terminar, botaba la bolsa al suelo; luego recapacitaba y decía algo como : Yo quiero un país limpio, por eso, pongo la basura en su lugar”.
        Ojalá que con cosas como la N1H1, el cólera, el dengue etc, la gente se concientice y trate de vivir de manera más responsable. Uff… he dicho!

      • Yuck! Tal vez recuerdo que Carlos me dijo una vez alrededor de las “Charamuscas de Miados” — Y los cochinos lo hacen porque no quieren gastar tiempo en ir al baño/port-a-potty, o porque no hay baño?… O las bolsas son por tirar a el equipo que no les gustan? :p

        For the anti-littering commercials – I think they should make some that appeal to Salvadoran pride. I think that would convince a lot of people more than any sort of environmental argument. If you told them that Orgullos Salvadoreños no tiran basura en nuestra linda pais, show a person throwing trash in a trash can, some beautiful photos of the landscape, la bandera, maybe play el himno in the background – I think you’d have a pretty effective commercial.

        But hey, look what I found! LOL.

        Jajaja… It’s great. Puro guanaco – you’ve got Cipitio, Caliche and there’s even an aquacatero on the street towards the end of the video.

      • Si hay bathrooms! The Charamuscas de Miados are like a natural toxic weapon against the rival team. Well serves 2 purposes, let it out of your system and then throw it to “the enemy”!
        I’ll see if I can find my commercial!

      • I stumbled across this page while searching for Charamusca, having come from a fun music video (link below); curious as to the lyrics and what all these fun new words meant!

        Well, Google Translate has a very difficult time with this song for some reason. Here is a small sampling of some of the other (apparently food-related) words/phrases which don’t register any sort of meaningful translation:

        Clavillaso y el piporro

        #NSFW warning!

        There is one pun that I picked up on:

        Chicha —> Chicharon

        But there may be others, mi espanol es no bueno

        Without further ado, then:

  3. Cipota!!!! Hicistes que me den antojos de una charamusca de sapote (mamey). :) I can not wait to get home to see this video you are talking about lol

    • Latinaboop: Take your time, unless women in hi-cut bikinis dancing on rocks while fat men jiggle their pansas around to bad singing turns you on. lol I think I’m traumatized for life…

      • I’ll give you the high-cut bikinis and jiggling pansa – but that guy is a good singer! The music itself is really good, (minus the weird Michael Jackson intro – but this was made in the 80’s. American videos were just as cheesy!)

        ROFL… If she reads this comment and still hasn’t seen the video, she is probably wondering WTH!

  4. Me sorprende que no te habias enterado de las charamuscas hasta hace poco.

    Tambien hay charamuscas no congeladas. Por ejemplo, si compras una Coca en la calle, te la dan en una bolsa y amarrada con una pajilla. jajajajjaja

    Siempre nos inventamos babosadas nosotros. jajjajajajj

  5. Ay dioh mio! That huge belly did it for me, I had to stop the video! LOL!!!
    Yes! Bolis (charamuscas in Mx) are delicious! Here in Veracruz they are called Toyitos (a special brand) and they are the best treat during the 13 months of heat we seem to experience here (ugh!). ;)
    Throwing the plastic bags on the street though… it happens here too and it drives me crazy!
    BRB, gotta go get me a toyito from the freezer….

  6. We used to drink our sodas like that in Mexico… out of a bag, only not frozen! Now I’m going to have to go look and see if I can find a charamusca in my neighborhood. Gracias, Tracy!

    • Hi Britt – a charamusca can be made in whatever flavor you want – just buy fruit juice (or make your own in a juicer), pour it into a plastic baggie (or the special plastic charamusca bags you can buy at some Latino markets), and tie it closed. Place in the freezer until frozen! :)

  7. Whoever said this song is from the 80s is wrong, I remember when it came out and it was NOT the 80s .
    And charamuscas have to be frozen to be charamuscas if not they are just fresco en bolsa.

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