At the height of summer Corpus Christi thermometers can easily hit triple digits.
But don’t get us wrong; that’s not a complaint. This is our chosen way of life. Are you going to trade your flip flops for snow skis anytime soon? We aren’t. The way we look at it, we survive the heat because we’re so cool…and so are you for being here to read our nonsense.
Instead we embrace and master Corpus Christi’s unique ways to keep cool, and while we have the beach, water parks and windy walks on the Bayfront, the most fun and quickest way to cool off is to buy yourself a raspa. We’d even entertain replacing the seagull on the city flag with a raspa. Second to breakfast tacos, they are that critical to our geographic culinary lifestyle.
Raspas. Sno-cones. Shaved Ice. We don’t care what you call it, but in a few short minutes you can cool down, send your taste buds into sweet ecstasy and become a 10 year old all over again.
Raspas are a mound of shaved ice in a cup or paper cone with the addition of up to 1,000 different flavored sweet syrups. Tiger’s Blood. Blue Coconut. Rainbow. You know what we’re talking about.
You find them around the world with each country or city adding their geographical touch. You can get them with a scoop of ice cream balanced precariously on top, a squirt of pickle juice or fresh cream, chili flavoring…the options are endless and usually up to the creativity and personal touch of each purveyor.
The best raspa in town is located at La Bamba Raspas, and while you have a limitless option of topping and flavoring combinations, our favorite is their fresh fruit raspas and they easily make our 40 Things to Eat in Corpus Christi list. Go get one today. Seriously.
La Bamba is a permanently-parked food truck that offers an extended menu of South Texas treats including papas azadas, grilled corn on the cob and esquites (creamy corn-in-a-cup). They carry the fresh fruit raspa and another category: artificially flavored. They’re correct to name them that way since, as refreshing as a good old fashioned syrup sno cone is, La Bamba’s power lies in the fresh fruit variety and the word ‘artificial’ steers you to where you should be.
The fresh fruit raspas come in 10 flavors from mango to pineapple to banana Tejana. Try them all, but know that the Tamarindo Raspa and ½ Tamarindo, ½ Coconut Raspa are great places to start.
Imagine it: you skip the blue coconut high fructose corn syrup (coconut is not blue and never was) and treat yourself with a heap of shaved ice soaked in coconut milk and chunks of fresh coconut. The fresh tamarindo raspa is like a spicy iced tea slush with thick, fresh syrup and chunks of tamarind sprinkled within the ice. Damn, that’s good.
It’s hot out there. Your raspa is going to melt before you finish it. You’re going to get sticky deliciousness all over your face and fingers. Your kids are going to love you. You’re going to love yourself. Go get you one.