You might not think it to be so, but there are times that living in deep south Texas has it’s perks! In one word: Raspa!
Now, if you’ve ever been in Texas…deeeeep south Texas, to be precise, you just might be saying to yourself “Perks?…
What perks could there possibly be in such a hot and humid climate?”
Well it’s true, the weather here is hot…all. the. time! Nope, I’m sorry, I take that back…we do get the occasional burst
of fresh cool air for all of about, what…maybe 1-2 months combined?! As for the other 10-11 months of the year, it’s pretty
much the same with temperatures ranging in the 80-90’s but…
from about March to October, we have been known to hit temps ranging in the 100’s…Yikes!
At least it feels that way to us close to the border… 😉
Anyway, back to the Perks I was referring to at the onset …those are our Raspas! Mmmm-hmm!!!!!
I have traveled around on vacations and the like and have yet to find a Raspa stand like what we have down here in the valley (Rio Grande Valley).
Maybe I’m just partial…or spoiled, but I do have some friends and family that live in other parts of the country and they too, agree that if you want a true Raspa, you get the real deal here locally!
Kinda like a well known burger place that is Texas based. Starts with Whata. Ends with ?. Now it has expanded to a couple other states but, let’s be honest…still tastes best in Texas ?
Ok focus Cori, focus! What are Raspas you ask?
They are heavenly little (or big if you prefer) cups of super finely shaved ice…almost
that are flooded with flavored syrup and the ice … oh man, that ice just soaks up all that flavor and hold up, give me a second while I grab me a napkin …
Depending on what stand you go to, they’re usually served with a spoon-liked straw that gives you the option to either slurp the sweet, cold syrup from the bottom of the cup or scoop little chunks of the sweet clumped ice quickly into your mouth, where it just seems to dissolve…almost instantaneously! Either way, it’ll be flooding your mouth with the most deliciously icy cold flavored liquid ever…making life in the valley during this time of the year *almost* bearable and worthwhile! It’s really something you can’t pass up if you’re ever down here, so give it a try!
What can you expect when you walk up to the little window?
Well…think about how hungry you are and choose your size of cup…
small, medium or large…this is the easy part, guys!
Next, choose your flavor!
Every stand has a long list of flavors listed just to the side of the window,
so feel free to peruse them beforehand because as I said…
There are SOOOOO many flavor options to choose from…
from basic flavors such as strawberry, watermelon, banana,
bubblegum, cherry, etc … to cream based flavors such
as the famous leche (milk) flavor…which is weirdly pink in color, but hey…
It works and is just fan-tas-tic!!!
There’s also a favorite around these parts and it’s the Pica-Dilly Raspa!
Every Raspa Stand makes their own version of the Pica-Dilly but they’re basically the same in theory.
At my favorite stand, the Pica-Dilly Raspa consists of your preferred flavor, mine being Cherry,
and towards the bottom of the cup, you’ll find a pocket of chunkily chopped sour dill pickles!
Then to top it off, there’s a mountain…yes, a MOUNTAIN of more chopped pickles piled on top of your cup
and THEN, there’s a generous sprinkle of Kool-Aid and/or Trechas Chile powder. Plus~I know, there’s a plus, too~You can get some gummy bears on top of that!
Now we’re talking — Summer. In. A. Cup!
Now to some, it may sound strange…pickles mixed with ice? Eww, No!
Well…don’t knock it till you try it!!!!!
When you think about it, it’s absolutely reasonable, after all, who doesn’t like a super cold, almost icy dill pickle?
Who doesn’t like gummy bears or Kool-Aid?
Nobody, that’s who!
**True to form, everyone decides to order leche (except for my cherry pica dilly – albeit gummy bearless) when here I thought we’d all get different flavors to show off a variety of beautiful colors ?**
As a kid, I used to eat pickles with Kool-Aid powder sprinkled on top…basically the same thing, only 1 trillion times better ’cause, you know, it’s a Raspa!
The Pica-Dilly is mouthwatering, although it might not be for everyone but you can rest assured, on a hot sweltering day, a simple flavored raspa will do just fine, too!
Most stands also offer snacks such as Corn Cups, Frito Pie’s, Fruit Cups, Aqua Fresca’s and a few other things as well. Much to ponder and decide on that’s for sure…So, once you’ve made your choices, then step up to the window and place your order.
It’ll take approximately 5 minutes, usually less to get it made and then you’re good to go!
Taste of Summer in a Cup!
Ever tried one? If so, what’d you think? What’s your favorite flavor?