Shaved ice goes global in Charlotte

by Tom Hanchett

Does summer heat give you a hankering for the cold syrup-soaked wonderfulness of a snow cone? You can line up at one of the dozen or so Pelican Snowball franchises around the Charlotte metro, of course. But how about stepping out for a global shaved ice adventure?

Food historians think shaved ice originated in ancient China, where the treat is known as bing soo. So let’s start our tour with an Asian eatery.

This Vietnamese shaved ice at Pho Huong Que restaurant is called Chè ba màu, meaning three-color dessert.

Shaved ice is a big deal at Hong Kong Bakery, located inside the huge Super G Mart international grocery at 7323 E. Independence Boulevard. Choose from a list of more than thirty toppings. I got fresh strawberries and pineapple gummies, then added condensed milk plus red bean paste, two sweet comfort-food flavors often found in Asian cuisine. Yum!

Vietnam has its own shaved ice tradition, which you can find at Pho Huong Que in the same shopping plaza as Super G. Chè ba màu means three-color dessert. A tall soda-fountain glass arrives with layers of green, red and white. Green is pandan, sort of like Jello cubes. Red are those sweet red beans again. And the white is mung-bean syrup at the bottom and shaved ice with coconut milk at the top. I thought all that might taste odd. But when I reached my long-handled spoon down through the layers, mixing bits from one and another, I found I really liked it.

Halo-halo at Bachi combines crunchy ice with smooth ice cream and flan.

The shaved ice of the Philippines is called halo-halo. “That means mix-mix,” says Leslie Pahang whose family owns Bacchi at 200 W. Mallard Creek Road. Here the tall soda-fountain glass is layered with jackfruit, red beans, coconut jelly and shaved ice drenched with condensed and evaporated milk. On top, a purple scoop of yam ice cream, a Filipino favorite. “And a cube of my mom’s homemade flan,” says Pahang with pride.

In Mexico, shaved ice goes by the name “raspados.” Let’s end our tour at brand-new Raspados Jalisco at 5015 N. Tryon Street near Sugar Creek. Ice plus syrup is the simple recipe here. But the syrup flavors include Mexican favorites. I got mango — with fresh mango pulp, I think — plus good ol’ familiar strawberry.

 

Hong Kong Bakery

Monday – Sunday 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Inside Super G Mart
7323 E. Independence Boulevard
Charlotte, NC  28227
(980) 321 – 7283

Bachi

Monday – Thursday 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Friday 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Saturday  noon – 10 p.m.
Sunday  noon – 9 p.m.
200 W. Mallard Creek Church Road #200
Charlotte, NC  28262
(980) 819 – 7761

www.bachiclt.com/

 

Pho Huong Que

Monday – Wednesday 10 a.m. – 9 p.m
Closed Thursday
Friday – Saturday 10 a.m. – 9 p.m
Sunday 11 a.m. – 9 p.m..
7211 E. Independence Boulevard
Charlotte, NC  28227
(704) 536 – 0401

www.pho-huong-que.com/

 

Raspados is the word for shaved ice in Mexico — and at Raspados Jalisco on Charlotte’s N. Tryon Street.

Raspados Jalisco

Monday – Sunday 11 a.m. – 9 p.m
5015 N. Tryon Street, #120 Charlotte, NC  28213

Gleaming new Raspados Jalisco opened so recently that it did not have menus yet when we visited.

foodheader
Center City & nearby
Carolina apple cider
Indian street food
Greens from South Carolina
Upstate NY Italian sausage
Swiss-German bakery
Blackberry memories of Brooklyn
Puerto Rican kabobs
South Boulevard, South Tryon & southward
Mexico + Greece = holiday treats
Cuban box pig
Snack foods from India
SC meets Vietnam
Little corner of El Salvador
Arepas from Venezuela
Indian sweets for Diwali
Colombian soup
Korean at China Wing
Indian food in south Charlotte
Mexican take-out
Mexican Tamaleria
Fort Mill — real Chinese
Ready for Laotian food in Charlotte?
Psst! There’s a European Market hidden just south of Ballantyne
Independence Boulevard, Monroe Road & environs
Nigeria in east Charlotte
Korean BBQ
Brazilian bakery
Secret Greek grocery
Colombian BBQ & snacks
Detroit hot dogs
New York bagels
Halal Latino
Russian-Turkish Grocery
Iran Kabobs in Matthews
Ramen in Matthews
Russian picnic fare
Armenia in Matthews
Katayef – holiday dessert at Pita Kabab in Matthews
Crispy NJ pizza comes to east Charlotte
Central Av, Albemarle Road & vicinity
Family-style Ethiopian
Dominican street food
Jamaican black cake
Somali stew and sides
Schawarma from Jerusalem
Oriental buns
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Bosnian sausages
‘Tis the Season for Champurrado
Latino bakery feeds a region
Taste Monterrey, Mexico
Tamales in Plaza Midwood
One restaurant, three Latino traditions
Guatamala in east Charlotte
Mexican Seafood
You buy – We fry
Dominican Deli
French/Vietnamese pastry arrives in east Charlotte

North Tryon, UNCC area & northward
Asian Moon Cakes
Mexican carnitas
Beef on Weck from Buffalo
Indo-Chinese
Dominican fruit shakes, pressed subs
Mexican ice cream
Louisiana Viet crawfish
Salvadoran comfort food
NYC pastries – Lake Norman
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Indian Dosa Night
Middle East via Lynx
Bahn Mi Brothers
Ethiopian sandwiches
Turkish near UNCC
BBQ from Pakistan
Find a taste of Hyderabad at Nawabs Kebabs
Westward
The Patio at Our Lady of Guadalupe
NC fish camps
Fried baloney
Grits & cornmeal
El Tamarindo
Laos in Kings Mountain
Lawrence Caribbean
Multiple Places & Food Trucks
5 eateries for Black History Month
Charlotte’s International food scene
South’s Love Affair with Soft Drinks
5 Places to “Eat Northern”
Northern Favorites: Six More Eateries
Curry journey: Vietnam, Trinidad, India
Spiedies – Food Truck
5 best bites on Albemarle Road
Lao Sausages – Food Truck
Western Indian – Food Truck
Himalayan flavors – Food Truck
Shaved ice goes global in Charlotte