On a particularly blistering day, nothing feels better than biting into a refreshingly cool treat. While we haven’t reached scorching temps throughout the country just yet, it’s only a matter of time. And when that moment finally comes, you’ll want to be prepared. That’s why we compiled a list of frozen treats from Latin America. While there’s a little bit of overlap (i.e. lots of icy and syrupy drinks), their slight variations make them each unique.
As we kick off summer, here are some treats to look forward to all season long.
A staple across different parts of Latin America, including Honduras and El Salvador, topoyillos (also spelled topoyiyos and topollillos) include some sort of fruit juice (but sometimes milk) and are frozen into plastic bags.
Granizados are very simple, but very delicious. In a cup full of crushed ice, syrup is poured all over until the drink becomes slushy-like. This is consumed across Latin America and goes by different names and can vary in ingredients.
While in some places, granizados are raspados are the exact same thing. In others, like Nicaragua, there’s a slight difference. In the Central American country, for example, raspados still contain shaved ice and syrup, but they’re so thick (because of ingredients like dulce de leche) and filled with toppings that you need to spoon it up.
Continuing on the icy drink wave, we have frío frío, a Dominican treat. In the DR and places like New York, a vendor will scrape a giant chunk of ice to create the snowy texture that makes up the base of the drink. It’s then finished off with an array of syrups.
While they’re known as raspados and frío fríos in some parts of Latin America, in Puerto Rico, these sugary and cool concoctions are known as piraguas.
In Belize, ideals are the perfect summer snack. While there are variations, coconut is a popular ingredient. In the video above, for example, coconut milk is mixed with evaporated milk and then frozen in a bag.
Mexico has a variety of icy drinks, but one of the most popular is chamoyada, which features chamoy as one of the main components. The sweet and spicy drink is often topped with fruits.
Helado de Paila
In Ecuador, helado de paila is made in a giant bronzed bowl. The ice cream, comparable to a sorbet, has a rich tradition in the country and includes a variety of flavors.
Limber / Limbel
Compared to Italian ice, limber or limbel is a Puerto Rican treat. It’s reportedly named after Charles A. Lindberg and comes in a wide range of flavors.
Not quite an ice cream and not exactly a fruit drink, cremoladas are made of water, sugar, and lots of fruit pulp and are enjoyed throughout Peru.
For those who want more from their shaved ice, cholados are the answer. These Colombian treats have a ton of fruit and toppings, including fresas con banano y crema, ensalada de fruta, and more.