Little known random fact about me, I use to be a raspado vendor. I kid you not. This was when I was trying to figure out what to do with my life after graduating high school. You know, taking a year off or three from school to get my head on straight.  I worked as a street vendor and I learned some life lessons that cannot be learned anywhere else. Even when I was a kid, the raspado man would be a sight for sore eyes when school let out. My favorite all time flavors are  rompope, vanilla, strawberry, then all three combined with some lechera on top Mmmm, mmmm.

The kind of flavors available all depend on the vendors mode of transportation. If they’re on a cart, like the on pictured above, they’ll have a limit stoke and just have the most poplar flavors like tamarindo, fresa, coco, nancy, guayaba, mango, durazno, rompope and some of that candy buble gum syrup stuff for all the kiddies. Another reason these are some of the main flavors they have is because these are some of the easiest to make at home and they last longer when out on the job. Depending on how hot the day is or where the vendor is at, the ice will run out before the flavors. That’s why selling and making raspados is a fine art. Each vendor has their own unique way of making their toppings, arranging their cart, making the ice last and using the metal scraper. This is a completely different methodology than raspados made at stores or restaurants.

Both street and store raspados have their own unique charms and neither is better than the other, it all depends on the person. Certain people can handle their street food and others can’t, it’s as simple as that. You gotta have a great immune system to be able to eat anything from street vendors and by this I don’t mean that street vendors are dirty and they don’t wash their hands or anything like that. Don’t misinterpret what I’m saying. It’s just that because they are hands on with their food preparation and handling other task. It’s like what I tell my mom about why I still eat street tacos, the dirt gives the meat flavor.

You don’t have to worry about that at raspado stands, but they do have the copasity to go the extra mile with chomoy raspados, tostilocos, mago mixed with chamoy and even those hard to find flavors like cajeta, mamey, guanabana, fambresa and a bunch of other crazy fruits I can’t properly pronounce, let a lone spell with my degenerating spanish. Point is, when your out on a hot day and you hear those bells from afar, you instinctively find yourself walking in that direction. Like the pied piper, the raspado man has what you want and he’ll give it to you till you’re satisfied.

3 thoughts on “Raspados

  1. One summer I sold raspados from my front porch, for a day. My mom made the tamarindo sugar sauce, I just did the raspando of ice. It’s still the only flavor I order.

  2. When I first moved to BH, there was this torta spot on CC (near Mott)–walking distance from my house. They had tequila flavored raspados(!)—but my fav was coco with real coconut shavings. I like the ones that have fruit in em—homeland style. That place closed for renovation, but never reopened–darn!!

  3. Last year my dad home made three different kinds of syrups for my nephew’s(his grandson) 2nd birthday. Pina, berry mix, and fresa. That ish was the bomb! I had no idea my dad could break it down that way. Turns out his grandfather used to sell respados in their home town. He learned the skill from him. It’s nice to have roots.

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