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Un Raspao anyone?

October 14, 2009

Shaved ice is a culinary favourite with children of all ages throughout many cultures. Except in New Zealand. I grew up  with rich creamy ice cream and sweet flavoured ice blocks, but never shaved ice.

The first time I saw shaved ice was in Japan and then again in Korea. These countries wild concoctions did nothing to whet my appetite:  Japan’s green tea shaved ice was as just as unappealing as Korea’s cherry tomatoes and cornflakes. And so for me, the story ended — until now.

Panama’s Raspao offers something different: shaved ice served in a paper cone, drizzled with fruit syrups so bright that blind and condensed milk (sometimes carnation milk).

It starts with a large block of ice on the cart and a hand-held metal contraption that holds the paper cone, shaves the ice filling the cone at the same time.

by Cate

by Cate

Then you choose the toppings: Syrups first finishing with thick sweet gooey condensed milk.

by Cate

by Cate

Once in your hands it’s a matter of eating it before the ice warms and melts. Raspao’s are cheap and quite possibly the backbone of Panama’s sweet treats.

Perfect for that hot day, which is pretty much any day in Panama.  Also perfect for sweet tooths and crying babes.

Caffeinated Traveller

  1. October 14, 2009 6:24 pm

    Such a pretty picture. Are they too sweet?

    • October 14, 2009 7:32 pm

      Hi Charlotte! thanks for all your lovely comments you’ve been leaving me. Yes these are sweet at first until the syrup moves down and melts with the ice. But the condensed milk can be substituted for powdered carnation milk. I’m not sure what thats like, seems to be popular with older people. Cate

  2. October 14, 2009 9:06 pm

    In Indonesia was named Es Serut. I like this ice yummyyy..

  3. October 15, 2009 9:46 am

    We have the shaved ice in Malaysia too. Both look similar, but we add steamed red beans, corns, raisins, and fruits. Sometimes with ice-cream topping.
    So good under the hot sun.

  4. Cate permalink
    October 15, 2009 8:44 pm

    Lyla – hi and welcome! Es Serut sounds good just by going with the name.

    rainfield – I like the idea of fruit and raisins but can’t get my tastebuds around steamed beans and corn. Although I would try it just to see what it’s like.

  5. October 17, 2009 5:22 pm

    mmm I’ll have one of those – much nicer than Mr Whippy

  6. October 18, 2009 11:32 am

    Yes true! This has to be much nicer and healthier than ole Mr Whippy Heather 🙂

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