Adventures in Eating & Cooking
Day 1 of being back in the city: got Taiwanese shaved ice (剉冰) from Excellent Pork Chop House on Daddy’s recommendation (no not my actual dad, but one of my friend-pretend dads). Oniichan and I had planned to split one but the shaved ice was so delicious, we just duplicated the order! We got them with red bean (a must!), sweet corn, pineapple chunks, and condensed milk (because everything tastes better with condensed milk!) I could have gone without the sweet corn and pineapple chunks, both of which tasted canned… However, the condensed milk really held the ice together literally while keeping the texture smooth and creamy. I haven’t exactly had much experience with the Taiwanese spin on shaved ice, as I have yet to go food-sojourning to Taiwan, but this is definitely one of the best shaved ice desserts in the city!
Day 2 of being back in the city: split 2 pat bing soo (팥빙수) with my my lovely and forever-Asian-dessert-food-buddy, Unnie. Probably the best place to get this is from Koryodang, where I always go to stock up on chocolate coronets! We ordered a green tea and a red bean pat bing soo, both which required intense mixing so we got a good workout with our spoons. I preferred the green tea ice cream just because I’m a matchaholic, but the sweet vanilla ice cream with red bean is the traditional way to go. Both were super-yummy and I could not stop scooping for the ice cream/fruit/mochi globules of deliciousness! Although Korean shaved ice is not as smooth as Taiwanese style, the ice cream and additional toppings balanced out the texture (especially the mochi… I love mochi!!!) .
Conclusion: I love Asian shaved ice desserts, no matter Taiwanese or Korean. Obviously 剉冰 and 팥빙수 have many significant differences (and I’m not just talking about the names). Each has its own style with its own perks. 剉冰 is mixed really well, has smoother ice, and tastes amazing with condensed milk; 팥빙수 has higher-quality toppings, and the ice cream really makes a difference. But in all honesty, it just depends on what you’re in the mood for. I know I’ll take either one over a snow cone any day!