Food Culture

Snow Cones Chill on Cuzco’s Hot Days

Snow Cone Stand (Photo: Walter Coraza)

Cuzco’s combination of rain and sunshine these days, cold and warmth, is crazy. No one knows or has confidence when it will be warm and bright with lots of sunshine or when it will be rainy and cold.  It is as if two different climates were contesting for control of our skies and lives.

When it is warm out, people look for something to refresh themselves. As a result, every day they drink a lot of cold drinks. They also eat all the different flavors of ice cream, and they enjoy snow cones, what in Spanish we call raspadillas or little scraped things from the chipping of the ice.

Pineapple Snow Cone for You (Photo: Walter Coraza)
Pineapple Snow Cone for You (Photo: Walter Coraza)

In some people’s opinion, snow cones are the item that refreshes you the most on hot days. This is because they are made from ice that has been made into snow. But the snow alone, as most readers know, is not enough. Besides its burst of cold, the snow cone gets lots of flavor from syrups in different colors and flavors.

Snow cones are often found, not just in the markets and some street corners, but at parties and other events in the city. It seems that everyday there are more places where you can get one of these cups of cold with their burst of intense flavor and chill.

The main street of Cuzco, its Avenue of Culture is one of the city’s largest. On it are located its principal universities and many businesses. On this street you can find lots of stands, especially by the universities, that will make and sell you snow cones. University students love this product.

Bottles of Different Syrups for Snow Cones (Photo: Walter Coraza)
Bottles of Different Syrups for Snow Cones (Photo: Walter Coraza)

The snow is generally sold in some medium sized, Styrofoam cups. They are filled to overflowing with the snow and brightly colored syrup. Snow cones are strange in that at first you eat them with a spoon and then, once the ice has melted, you suck up the juice with a straw. They are like two different treats in one.

Fortunately for all, snow cones are also inexpensive. They generally cost just 1 S/ (about 0.37$US). At this price you can afford one or more whenever it is hot and you just need something to cool you down.

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