Snow Cones from California Carnivals to Cuba
By Art Jones
Carnivals, fairs and festivals all sell America's favorite icy summer treat. Crushed ice in a paper cone topped with a variety of sugar water flavors have become a international phenomenon known as snow cones. Americans everywhere crowd the concession stands to get a taste of the icy cone. What does the rest of the world call the American shaved cold candy called a snow cone?
Mexico has a popular ice treat called raspa or raspado. This finely shaved ice concoction is heavily covered with a thick syrup. Raspar is spanish for scrape, so raspado means roughly scraped ice. This Mexican version comes in a variety of Mexican flavors like cucumber, guava and pistachio. Raspa also comes in more traditional Mexican staples like picocito, lemon and chile powder, and leche, sweetened milk and cinnamon.
Cuba has its own frozen dessert called a granizados, Spanish for hailstorms. This Cuban creation has been taken on by a large American city. In Miami, Florida the granizados are now sold in typical Cuban flavors like anise, made from extracts of star anise spice.
Puerto Rico's delights in a pyramid-shaped frozen food flavored with fruit syrup. The Puerto Rican food is called a piragua, found not only in Puerto Rican, sold at a wooden pushcart, but can also be found in some parts of New York.
Japan also has its own cold creation called a kakigori. The kakigori is almost completely identical to an American snow cone as possible. There are only two minor differences between the kakigori and the snow cone. Kakigori has a rougher consistency than the American version and is often sweetened with condensed milk. Kakigori is often mixed with several different flavors like sweet plum, green tea, melon and colorless syrup.
Patbingsu is a shaved snack or dessert in South Korea that is topped with sweetened red beans, canned fruit and soybean powder. Patbingsu is available in green tea and coffee flavors. Patbingsu is featured at many fast-food restaurants in the summer in South Korea.
Malaysia and Singapore have a treat similar to the American frozen specialty called ais kacang. the Ais kacang is a literal translation from red bean ice. This snack is a crushed ice base covered in a mixture of red beans, sweet corn, grass jelly and coconut milk.
Snow cones are a treat that can be found in a convenience store, at the carnival the next town over, and all over the world. They can also be made at home with a snow cone machine.
Author is a freelance writer. For more information on snow cone machine please visit http://www.snappypopcorn.com/.
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Views expressed in the article are those of the author and are not necessarily the opinions of CaribbeanChoice, its staff or members.