Shaved ice is not only popular in the United States, it’s really a global favorite. But, how we perceive shaved ice is very different from what you’ll find in other parts of the world. From the appearance to the ingredients, shaved ice takes on unique forms and flavors as you travel from one country to the next. Let’s start our global adventure and explore a few of the most popular and well-known kinds of shaved ice you’ll find.
Shaved Ice of Taiwan – Bào Bing
In Taiwan, bào bing is a popular shaved ice dessert that is frequently sold by street vendors. It is very finely crushed ice that produces a very fluffy texture and comes with a range of toppings like simple syrup, evaporated milk, condensed milk, fresh fruit, red beans, mung beans, jellies or even ice cream. Some fruits often used are mangos, pineapples, strawberries and watermelon. Shaved ice vendors may even offer savory seafood toppings and add flavor with shrimp paste! This differs from one vendor to the next, but you can even get ‘the works’ – all of these toppings together.
Shaved Ice of Latin America – Raspados
All across South America, raspados are a favorite shaved ice dessert and a quintessential summer treat. Raspados come from the Spanish word raspar, meaning, “to scrape.” However, this delicious dessert has varying names from one region to the next.
It consists of shaved ice packed high into tall cups. It’s then covered in toppings like condensed milk, fresh mango, homemade marmalade, chili powder, a bit of salt, and lime juice. Some flavored syrups commonly used in making raspados are tamarind syrup, hibiscus syrup, coconut syrup and strawberry syrup.
If you like a little bit of sweet with a little bit of spice, raspados are certainly worth a try.
Shaved Ice of Philippines – Halo Halo
Halo halo is one filling and very colorful shaved ice delight native to the Philippines. Literally translated from Tagalog/Filipino, it means “mix-mix.” It is the perfect way to beat the tropical heat that lasts almost all year long.
This unique type of shaved ice is a mixture of coconut, jackfruit, red beans, chick peas, pounded dried rice, sweet purple yam, creamed caramel flan, shreds of plantain, coconut milk, crushed or shaved ice, all topped with ice cream. Consumers can add or remove ingredients and change ice cream flavors as they desire. It is aptly named ‘mix-mix’ because after building your creation, you break it down and mix the ingredients together before diving in. Halo-Halo also has a cultural significance to Filipinos. It is a fusion of culinary influences—Chinese, Japanese, Malaysian, Spanish, American, and more.
While these may sound a little strange and unappetizing you may be pleasantly surprised!
So, when do you plan to start your travels to these hot spots for shaved ice? Have you discovered any interesting or out-of-the-ordinary shaved ice desserts that you would like to share? Please tell us on our Facebook page! Stay right here at Hawaiian Shaved Ice for even more shaved ice inspiration and a real culinary adventure.