I’ve never heard of it before until my barber who has become quite the source for Mexican fare along with great haircuts gave me a tip on a local food stand that specializes in ‘nieves de garrafa’.
Nieves de garrafa is a type of handmade, hand-churned ice cream native to Mexico. It’s much lighter than traditional ice cream with a creamy texture. The difference in this sorbet type of treat is how it’s prepared. Nieves are made in a cylinder properly known as “garrafas”. They mix fruit with a basic mixture of sugar and water, and put it in a tub lined with ice and salt. Then you churn it by constantly spinning the bucket around inside the wooden tub. This can be found at La Morelense. They also have raspados. Raspados are usually blended ice drinks made of various fruits, often (and at their best) seasoned with a generous hit of the savory and spicy condiment chamoy. It’s very similar to shaved ice.
808 W 25th St N
Wichita, KS 67204
Saturday – Sunday: 11am – 7pm (or until it runs out)
Closed Monday – Friday
La Morelense can be found at the northwest corner of 25th & Arkansas right in front of El Papa Pollo Restaurant. When I arrived, they had the big tubs out with the nieves inside. Plenty of customers were lined up to get their sweets!
Before I dive into the rest, here’s a little video that shows you what to expect:
The raspados were $4.50 and the cups of nieves were $2 or $3 depending on the size.
I stuck with nieves on my visit. They had three flavors left: mango, coconut and strawberry. I ordered all three of course. They were nearly out of mango, so they filled up a cup for me on the house.
There was also a little table set aside if you wanted to top your treats off with some spice.
Readers, it was beyond delicious. I loved every second of it. The ice cream did a much better job of staying cool than traditional shaved ice and some other forms of ice cream. It was creamy, sweet, flavorful….. everything one should be enjoying. Many people may compare it to shave ice being served in a cup, it’s way better. Compared to traditional ice cream, it wasn’t as thick. Just a great in between balance that I really loved.
My barber mentioned they had other flavors like lime, cucumber and vanilla which I certainly would have tried if available. The family working the stand was so nice and slowly explained some of it all to me, so I hope I did them some justice in relaying the experience. It was a great time and something completely brand new to me which is always a huge plus. Now I have to go back and try the raspado.
Here’s the menu: