Saturday, April 8, 2017

Ice Cream

This post is for my Dad. Hi, Dad!! *waves excitedly in a northern direction*

Guatemala has a perfectly healthy obsession with ice cream. And with good reason! Nothing is better on a hot day in the sun than a cool treat. And lucky for everyone, you can find helado pretty much everywhere. (Pronounced eh-LAH-doh, remember h's are silent in Spanish.)

The biggest chain of ice cream stores in Guatemala seems to be Sarita. I equate this to Dairy Queen back home. I know of four Saritas in town, plus Sarita brand ice cream is sold in the Despensa and in convenience stores everywhere.
The newly renovated Sarita store on Santander.
This photo was taken at 10:30 am. Perfect time for a sundae! :D
One of the cases of ice cream flavours in Sarita. They also had more flavours plus fresh and frozen fruits and other toppings in another case.
There are three other branded ice cream shops in town: La Nevería, Holandesa, and Marco Polo. These seem a bit fancy, like a Baskin-Robbins back home.
La Nevería. Really good and inexpensive banana splits!
Sign in front of La Nevería. Hard to walk past this store!
Banana Split from La Nevería. Looks just like the picture!
And yes, they have ice cream cakes! You can even buy just one slice.
Just wanna quick ice cream on the go? Just pop into pretty much any tienda. A great number of them have a freezer with ice cream in it, sometimes labeled with Sarita or the other popular brand PaliDeli, and sometimes the store owners will make their own frozen treats.
The convenience stores usually put out a sign with the ice cream pictures and prices...and then the freezer has only three things in it! HA!
PaliDeli is another popular brand of ice cream in the tiendas.
For a truly local treat, all you have to do is listen for the bell! Little ol' men push ice cream carts around town and set up in strategic locations like the market and in front of the school at lunch. Prices range from Q1 to Q3 and you can even get some fruity sauce on top. Yummy!
This ice cream guy is smart and takes his cart around to the high schools at lunch break.

Another frozen treat shop in town is Sombrilandia. (A sombrilla is a beach umbrella or parasol.) They seem to be only open on weekends but their frozen fruit pops are to die for! Definitely stop by there while strolling down Santander at dusk. Be prepared for super fresh flavours! I had the mango fruit pop and it literally had stringy bits of mango in it.

The only picture I have of Sombrilandia, and I didn't even take a pic of my fruit pop!
You can see the paintings though. That's what they look like, little umbrellas. :)
Another popular option are granizadas, which are basically Slushies or Slurpees. (The literal translation is "hailstorm". Pretty appropriate!) This is another cart you can find on every street corner. Most often, I see the carts with a hand-cranked ice shaver but in the market there is a lady who shaves a big block of ice with a little hand-held thingy. Neat!

I always thought they only came in sweet flavours -- lime, watermelon, mango, etc -- but I was told that they also serve spicy ones! I found a video showing a crazy concoction of shaved ice with vegetable juice and some other fun stuff. Check it out! Would you try this? I sure would!

And a post about frozen treats wouldn't be complete without mentioning the iconic Guatemalan delight -- chocobanano! It's simply a frozen banana on a stick dipped in "chocolate" and sometimes sprinkles or nuts. Very cheap and very refreshing. Plus vitamins and all that!
So never fear, future visitors to Guatemala. You can get ice cream and other delicious frozen treats whenever your sweaty self desires them. (Or frozen daiquiris, for those so inclined. La Palapa sells spiked daiquiri and margarita slushies. My fave!)

And Dad, there ARE Dairy Queens in Guatemala, but only in Guate City. Seems they have some stiff competition here! But nothin' beats a Peanut Buster Parfait, right? :D

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