Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Representando: Raspados!!!!

“You have yet to assimilate to Panama’s urban culture if you haven’t come to appreciate raspados, those fruit-flavored shaved ice cones that provide quick relief from the heat and an income for countless citizens making their living in the informal economy.

The 'whole works' is a cone of shaved ice, flavored with juice or fruit flavoring, topped with powdered malted milk and sweetened evaporated milk. Some people like just the ice and fruit flavor.

The health authorities do pay attention to these folks, both through educational outreaches and occasional inspections. No system is perfect, but the fear of street food that’s well placed in many other Latin American countries is inordinate in Panama.

This raspado man is working the streets of a place that most of the tourist guide books tell you not to visit Colon, but to which you should not be dissuaded from visiting if you have some specific purpose to go to that economically hard-pressed city.”

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