Raspados: Shaved Ice from Oasis Raspados
|One mango raspado, chock full of fruity bits!|
|The tamarind raspado with lechera.|
Here in the Valley we lack the raspado mobiles that pepper much of Mexico, even in light of the nuevo food truck trend popping up across the valley. Instead, free-standing and strip mall joints like Oasis Raspados and others churn out these rutti 'tutti super fruity concoctions in just about any combination you can dream up.
(sink your teeth into all the spicy details after the jump)
|To the rainbow raspado mobile!|
El Sabor: Now that you've seen how varied a simple raspado can be, it's hard to identify any one quintessential raspado flavor. If you're new to the raspado game, we would recommend trying a fruit that you already know and love, like strawberries (fresas), bananas (plátanos), or watermelon (sandía). After you've mastered the basic frutas, expand out to the second tier but still familiar offerings, like ripe mangos, starchy sweet tamarind, and plums (saladitos--Be forewarned that these plums are nothing like the tasty stone fruit you're familiar with. They're salted, shriveled pruned with a very, how do you say, interesting flavor). And if fruit doesn't sound all that refreshing, Oasis Rapados also offers other various flavors like vanilla, horchata, coconut, and a lightly sweetened walnut.
If you've got the cajones, and are looking for something to shock your Wonder Bread palate, try a chamoyada instead. You'll be treated to a pile of shaved ice topped with fruit and drenched in that pickled chile fruit sauce we mentioned earlier. It puts a spicy, tangy twist on an otherwise sweet treat.
|Flickr- Jeffrey Tastes|
|Always say yes to the lechera.|
Bring a bit of México to your kitchen: Unless you happen to have a machine that shaves ice real nice (gone are the days of our Snoopy sno cone maker) it's easier to leave the raspados to the pros. Oasis Raspados has several locations around the valley, including one that just changed over to their capable hands at the corner of 19th Avenue and Osborn. Raspados are named for the verb raspar, and if you're feeling ambitious, grind up some ice in your blender and try out a strawberry horchata raspado or an apricot raspado.
Know of any Mexican gems in the Valley? Reveal your family secrets in the comment section.