Have you ever heard of a raspado? Wonder what the word raspado means? In Spanish, raspado is the word used for shaved ice. The term is related to the action word raspar which translates to English as “to scrape.” Raspado really means “scraped off” or the action of shaving. However, when referring to the tasty treat we all love, a translation of the word “ice” is left out of the name since it is implied that it is made of ice.
And because we know that shaved ice and snow cones are actually different types of treats, we would be remiss if we didn’t point out that there is sometimes a different word in Spanish for snow cone -- granizados. Granizados comes from the word granizo which means “hail.” In Mexico, the word granizados is used for a snow cone because the small pieces of ice often resemble small pieces of hail.
It’s fun to know that shaved ice and snow cones are enjoyed all around the world, even if they have different names. In the streets of Mexico and other Latin American countries, the ice is often scraped or shaved by hand in the streets. And just like we do here in the United States, shaved ices and snow cones come in a variety of flavors with toppings. In each different area of the world, you may find that a raspado is flavored with local, seasonally fresh fruits as well as things like sweetened condensed milk. Other ingredients may include chili powder, lime juice, and other unique spices. You may also find a raspado shop offering a raspado with nieve -- in other words, a shaved ice with a scoop of ice cream. Yum!
Interestingly, raspado shops are very popular in Tucson, Arizona. Also, keep in mind that different states, countries, and regions may use other words for shaved ice or snow cones. For example, while most of Mexico uses the term raspado, people in northern Mexico uses the word yuki. In Columbia, you may run across the term cholado.
So whether you’re traveling in the United States or a different part of the world, you’ll be ready to order a refreshing raspado or granizado when you come across one. Have you ever had a raspado in a Spanish speaking country? Run across any unique and intriguing raspado flavors? Tell us about them on our Facebook page! We’re always interested in trying out some new shaved ice flavor combinations!