Check out this crazy fruit called an icaco

Ever heard of an icaco, or (in English), coco plum or paradise plum? It's a tropical fruit that grows on trees as close as 30 feet from the ocean. The closer to the water, the sweeter the fruit. 

The tree is native to the tropical parts of the Americas, especially the Caribbean. 

People eat them raw, cooked or made into jam. 

The seed of the icaco is 21% oil, and some people burn them for light.

Home-made pupusas!!

You can buy great pupusas in El Salvador -- great curtido (cabbage-based vinegar-flavored stuff) and sauce are harder to come by. But home-made is the best. 

Riguas for breakfast in El Salvador

My wife's cousin, Reina, made riguas for breakfast, which I had never tried before. (The rigua in this picture is the long, oval item, part of this complete breakfast that also includes a tamal, cheese and red silk beans.) They're delicious!

Riguas are one of the many foods unique to El Salvador that were retained in the diet from indigenous cooking. 

They're made with rough-ground fresh corn cooked in banana leaves. 

You can have this pre-Spanish item with nothing on top, or topped with foods brought by the Spanish: sugar, butter, sour cream or curds. 

Atol Shuco -- breakfast on the beach in El Salvador.

I'm enjoying a nice bowl of Atol Shuco (also spelled "Atol Chuco," and "Atol Shuko") at my beach hotel in the Southeastern-most corner of El Salvador. Shuco is one of the indigenous staples that Salvadorans never stopped eating. It's a massively nutritious dish for two reasons: 1) it's made with "black corn" that's made black by large quantities of polyphenols, so it's highly antioxidant-packed; and 2) it's fermented, so it's loaded with probiotics for healthy gut flora. 

For my breakfast, it's got ground roasted aihuashte (also called "aiguashte" or "pepitoria") on top, made from the ground seed (pepitas) of a Salvadoran pumpkin-like squash, which is common when taken for breakfast. Shuco is also eaten with beans and white "pan francés" (basically a white-bread roll) if you have it at night. 

People here make it at home. Rural Salvadorans eat it on their way to or from work, purchased from a street vendor. 

Trump arrest images trigger AI panic. Here's why we should schedule our panic for later.

Before OpenAI, the company behind both ChatGPT and DALL-E, the sustained panic centered around deepfake videos, produced by generative adversarial networks (GANs). Everybody feared that deepfake videos would become the ultimate tool for spreading disinformation. Deepfakes, we were told, could produce “evidence” that political leaders, for example, said or did things they never said or did.

Deepfake fears haven’t been realized yet. The tech isn’t convincing enough. (And, once they are convincing, I fear the bigger threat will be that people caught on video will plausibly deny the truth by falsely claiming the real video is a deepfake.)

But this week a new panic set in. Rumors circulated about the imminent indictment and arrest of former president Donald Trump (rumors started by Trump himself in a Truth Social post that falsely claimed he’d be arrested Tuesday).

Read the rest on my Substack

People are finding it hard to get hired. Employers are struggling to hire. How is this possible?

Despite the high number of job openings, the number of qualified applicants has dropped significantly, leaving many employers feeling frustrated and overwhelmed.

Meanwhile, job seekers are finding it difficult to land a job, even with all the opportunities out there. They are applying for various job openings but getting ghosted by potential employers.

It's called the “Great Mismatch.” Here's what's causing it

Mexico City has the best french toast anywhere

It's so good, it's almost a dessert. Amazing bread, the cooks hand-whip the milk and egg batter custom with each order, tons of cinnamon, organic berries on top and whipped cream. This french toast is not to be trifled with. 

Scarfing down amazing pizza at Aborigen!

Dr. Pizza used to be the best pizza in Mexico City. But it's time for Dr. Pizza to go back to pizza medical school because now Aborigen is the best!! Their crust is unusual, in that it's not only naturally leavened, but it has a rustic quality to it that's just incredible. 

My favorite pulque place

It's a tiny one-room place in a tiny town in the Oaxaca valley. The lady who makes it just ladles the stuff out of the plastic buckets she ferments it in. So fresh and good. (Pictured above: The outside of the place; below: my pulque lady with one of her customers and also her pet goat, who happens to be peeing on the floor in this picture.) 

The Chinese government, which banned TikTok, says Europe's ban on TikTok is bad for business. Why?

The Big Question about TikTok, the crack-like addictive social network owned by China's ByteDance, is: "Does the Chinese government intend to use the global reach and power of TikTok to spy or influence? Yes or no?

The "Yes" camp gets another point today after the Chinese government warned that Europe's ban on the use of TikTok by the European Parliament, the European Commission and the EU Council on official devices "harm business confidence" in Europe. 

The US government and more than half of US states have banned the TikTok app on government-owned devices as well, and the Chinese government "lashed out" about that as well.

Lots of countries are banning TikTok in one way or another. But the Chinese government seems especially vexed by the bans on US and European government devices. 

If the Chinese government did not want to use TikTok for bad intentions, why does it care so much about it being installed on European and American government devices?

And if TikTok is so great for business confidence, why did the Chinese government ban it in China?