Those who know me best know that I have a slightly, um, addicitve personality. My vices mostly have to do with sweets: I am practically a walking billboard for Diet Coke. I am obsessed with gummy bears, gummy worms, gummy sharks...the list goes on. And I have been known to chew an entire pack of Wrigley Winterfresh gum in one sitting.
I am not alone in these seemingly-benign addictions. I once worked with an entire office of women who were also hooked on Diet Coke (and my sister calls it the "Nectar of Life"). I have developed fast friendships based on mutual love of gummy candy (you people know who you are). And, when I lived in Chicago, home of Wrigley, I often had trouble finding Winterfresh because it sold out so quickly. Addicts, unite!
As of this week, I can add a new addiciton to the list: Raspados.
And I can add a new kindred soul to my list of fellow addicts: Dorita.
Raspados are a kind of snowcone a la mexicana, made with fresh fruit, real fruit juice, tons of sugar, and, yes friends, ice cream. As luck would have it, some of Dora´s neighbors sell raspados from their front porch. They´re dirt cheap: 12 pesos (about $1 USD). And the stand is BYOC (Bring Your Own Container). The raspado boss, Irma, fills the container, provides a straw and spoon, and sits and chats with customers as they sit on her stoop and slurp away happily.
Dora introduced me to raspados on Tuesday. We walked over to Irma´s, armed with some small plastic containers. Irma filled our cups. I slurped and smiled as Dora presented me to the crew of neighbors assembled around the stand, thinking that a raspado could be a nice treat every once in a while.
But "once in a while" quickly turned into "everyday."
Dorita, who I now know to be a closet raspado addict, drew me right into her web of addiction. On Wednesday, she convinced me to go to Irma`s again. On Thursday, I suggested the trip. And by Friday, I had tried every raspado flavor on the menu. The cups we brought with us gradually grew from small to jumbo (yesterday, Dora busted out two liter-sized containers, which Irma still filled for 12 pesos). After a liter of sugary raspados, we were both completely wired, busting into fits of raspado-induced giggling late into the evening.
We had become addicts, and Irma was our enabler.
Thank God that Irma is going on vacation next week. The raspado stand will be closed until mid-August, and Dorita and I will begin to detox. And we have made a solemn pact to try to control ourselves when the stand does finally re-open. Only one per week. We`ll see how long that lasts.
In the meantime, there`s plenty of Diet Coke here in Mexico...