Raspados (Shaved Ice): There’s a Drought in my Dessert

Flying in from the endless sprawl of Los Angeles, it’s difficult to think of a more dissimilar landscape than El Centro, in Imperial County, California. Well, that’s not true.  You’ve got glaciers.  And Pyongyang.

The point is, Imperial County is by and large desert.  Just like the north and south pole, but with sand (duh). Though the All-American Canal has made Imperial County an extremely productive agricultural center, without the Colorado River, it would just be another county sharing a border with Mexico.

So, does that mean there’s a spelling error in the title?  Not exactly…and here’s a consequent trivia question.  What is, somewhat ironically, the most popular dessert in Imperial County?

el-centro-california-usa-raspados-shaved-iceRaspados!  Also known as shaved ice.  Plum, tamarind (pictured) or…whichever! Just make sure the tap water isn’t being fed from south of the border, and you’ll be refreshed in that dry, desert heat in no time.  Until you finish it.  While the sun is still out.  Rinse and repeat.

I think it’s great that, in spite of the perpetual drought in the region, this is the go-to sweet snack.  Still, I partook in this local custom, too, so…everybody’s got to learn sometime.

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