Raspados – Shaved ice (Mexico)

Raspados or raspas are a type of an ice-based dessert, traditionally made by shaving a block of ice and adding flavoured syrup, though modern (and faster) sellers use a blender.

Photo by  Garrett Ziegler @Flickr

As seen here below, ice flakes are shaved from a block of ice, giving the raspado a snow-like consistency. This texture makes the added syrups be absorbed quickly. Thus a properly made raspado should not need a straw, but a spoon.

Raspar is the Spanish word for ‘to scrape’; hence raspado (gerund form), means ‘scraped’. Raspados come in a range of classic fruit flavors as well as ‘hard’ ones, like cajeta (sweet caramelized milk), cucumber, guanabana, guava, pistachio, rompope (eggnog) and tamarind, among many others. It can be additionally flavoured with fruit chunks or sweet condensed milk on top if the cart is big enough to carry it all..!

There are also variations that add ice cream to the mix, or mango chunks (called mangonada), even toppings like sour gum candy. There is also the extremely spicy ‘diablito‘ (little devil), aka chamoyada, a mix of shaved ice with chamoy (a savoury Mexican sauce made of pickled fruit) coated with chili powder, Hell dust and Satan’s ashy skin.

Mangonada (left) and diablito (right), by princeroyy @tumblr
Mangonada (left, with mango) and diablito (right, spicy)

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