Thursday, July 21, 2011

A Dessert with Many Names

In this sweltering heat, what can you do with a large block of ice?

Make snow cones of course!

At Seven Seas, we prefer shaved ice dessert. While snow cones consist of crushed ice, a shaved ice dessert has a finer, snow-like texture. This helps to absorb the sweet flavorings like brown sugar syrup and condensed milk. A well-made shaved ice dessert should melt upon contact with the tongue almost instantly.

Toppings like grass jelly, sweetened red beans, mung beans or fruit are added to give some variety to the texture of the dessert. In Taiwan, some vendors add ingredients like green tea, chocolate, strawberry or milk before freezing the ice.

This dessert is highly popular all over the world. Many countries have their own version of a shaved ice dessert. In Mandarin, it's known as Bao Bing (Pronounced bow-bing.) Locals in the Philippines call it halo-halo, whilst in Mexico, it's called raspado. For a list of shaved ice names in other languages, see the end of this post.

In the pictures below, Seven Seas' server Vicki shows us how she prepares Fruit Bao Bing, an item from our brand new shaved ice dessert menu.

Ice is shaved from a block of ice. As the ice falls, it's important to turn the plate in order to give a the ice a hill-like shape.

Depending on your preference, you can use practically any kind of fruit. It's usually fine to scatter the fruit around the ice, or you can be creative with decorating like what Vicki is doing with hers.

Top with a scoop of ice-cream (cherry optional) then drench the entire thing with brown sugar syrup and condensed milk. Voila! Your tasty ice dessert is ready.

Alternate Fruit Bao Bing. This one has watermelon, strawberry, honeydew and mango. With all kinds of summer fruit in season, the possibilities are endless.

This is Chocolate Bao Bing from our new menu. It consists of chocolate flavored ice topped with Hershey's chocolate syrup, Oreos and M&Ms.

Green Tea Bao Bing

This is not on the menu, but is a variation of the Bing Bing Bao Bing (Red Bean Shaved Ice.) This one has sweetened mung beans

Sweet, refreshing and so many varieties! That's why we love Bao Bing.

What the shaved ice dessert is called in other countries:

  • Brazil - Raspadinha
  • Costa Rica - Copos
  • El Salvador - Minuta
  • Italy - Granita
  • India and Pakistan - Ice Gola
  • Japan - Kakigori
  • Korea - Patbingsu
  • Mexico - Raspado
  • Nicaragua - Raspado
  • Peru - Raspadilla
  • Philippines - Halo halo
  • Puerto Rico - Piragua
  • Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia - Ais/Es kacang
  • Panama - Raspao, often topped with sweetened condensed milk
  • Suriname - Schaafijs
  • Thailand - Namkhaeng Sai
  • English and French Caribean islands - Snowball