You May Know Them As Raspados, But In These Countries, They’re Known As Something Else

Dominican ice cart

In the Dominican heart of Upper Manhattan, I’ve never heard one of these ordered by name.

I’ve referred to it, in writing, as a raspado — another handle for the snow plane that scrapes ice from a large block and scoops it into a cup — and read, here and there, the term frío frío (cold cold). But unlike Puerto Rican ice carts, which sometimes wear the name


, Dominican carts themselves are often unlettered. A dozen or more bottles, filled with flavored syrups, send their own direct message.

Atypically, at this cart the bottles themselves were labeled, though even at a distance I recognized jagua (Hah-guah) from

earlier encounters

. It’s not nearly as sweet as its more popular neighbor, cocofresa (coconut-strawberry); the flavor of this

tropical fruit

has been likened to dried apple or quince. Pointing, and asking simply for un pequeño (a small one, $1), made the buy.

Dominican ice cart
This afternoon, on Academy St. near the southeast corner with Broadway, Inwood, Manhattan