Raspados, Diablitos, Nieves y Más: Shaved Ice Roundup

One of my favorite things about living in Queens is the sheer variety of refreshing, icy, sweet creations that become available when the temperature rises. In the last post, I focused on cholados—this week, it's raspados and nieves.

In my neighborhood, raspado (hand-shaved ice) carts pop up everywhere—in front of delis and restaurants, on street corners below the 7 train. Traveling vendors with grocery carts full of blocks of ice and syrup magically materialize in the afternoons. Aside from raspados, sometimes we are lucky enough to find places that make Mexican nieves (ices or sorbets) the old-fashioned way, which is really something special. However they are prepared, these cold creations, as quickly as they appear, will disappear just as fast once the summer is over.