One man on the Lower East Side talks about how to keep cold during a hot summer, Latin-American style. Edible Magazine’s Rachel Wharton filed the following report.
Ana Sofia Pelaez is a Cuban American who writes about Latin cuisine on her blog Hungry Sofia. A recent profile of pan-Latin snow cones led her to the corner of Clinton and Essex Streets, where Andrés Fabre has been making summers more tolerable for years with his dollar snow cones. In fact, every Latin country has them, says Pelaez. They're just called different things
“When I was growing up we would call them granizados because my family is from Cuba. In Puerto Rico, they call them piragüas, which is a way of saying pyramide and agua, so it's a contraction because it kind of creates a point. It's like a watery pyramid. And in the Dominican Republic, where Andres is from, they call them frio frios. And in Mexico they're called raspados,” Pelaez says.
Like the best snow cone makers, Fabre makes his own giant ice blocks and prepares his flavors like tamarind, coconut, lime and strawberry from scratch. In fact, Paleaz found out he's a second-generation frio frio man. He learned the trade from his father and how to make syrups from his mother. Now he's a frio frio pro.
Fabre says he has owned the cart for 14 or 15 years.
Not surprisingly, on weeks like this one, those ice cubes can disappear quickly.
“They last four or five hours depending on how busy it is that day,” Pelaez says.
So what's Pelaez's favorite flavor?
“I love the tamarind 'cause it's sweet and sour. And when you're hot it cuts it. It's not cloying. So it's the perfect one. It’s like when you finish it you feel completely refreshed,” she says.