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July 2019

Cold Snacks and Drinks to Try this Summer

Cool off with these international treats

This summer is an extremely hot one for many across Europe, so it’s important to keep one’s cool during the heatwave. While ice water is an optimal drink for staying hydrated, there are many kinds of cold snacks from around the world that you can prepare or (most likely) find in your home country. Today we’ll take a look at some of these cool treats.

Bubble Tea (Taiwan)

Bubble tea has grown increasingly popular around the world in the past few years. Also known as boba or pearl tea, this Taiwanese drink comes in many varieties and flavors. The most common form of bubble tea is made with cold milk tea served with sweet tapioca balls. A large straw is used so the drinker can suck up both tea and tapioca. Bubble tea also comes in many fruit flavors to teas made with blended ice and milk.

Shave Ice and Granita (Hawaii and Italy, respectively)

Shave (not “shaved”) ice is a Hawaiian dessert crafted with ice thinly shaved off a larger block. It’s like a snow cone with a finer, softer texture. In its most simple form, shave ice is topped with fruit syrups. Variations include shave ice flavored with coffee, red beans, ice cream, mochi, condensed milk, and more.

A similar dessert can be found in Italy: the granita. This popular summer dessert is made with shaven ice, fruit syrup, and a light powdering of sugar. Granita stands are a common sight in the southern parts of the country.

Mango Lassi (India)

Lassi is a yogurt-based drink (a dahl) popular in the Indian subcontinent. Its most famous variation is arguably mango lassi. This creamy, cool drink is a blend of yogurt, milk, and fresh mango. A simple drink, one can create other versions using other fruits and toppings. You can most likely find lassi drinks at your local Indian restaurant.

Horchata (Mexico)

A sweet and creamy horchata can be the perfect answer to the heat. Made with rice, sugar, and cinnamon, this Mexican drink can trace its origins to Spain. In fact, it was the visiting Spanish explorers who brought the drink over to Mexico, where it is now widely available. The spice adds a bit of zest to the cool creaminess of the drink. For a less creamy cold Mexican drink, opt for agua fresca (“fresh water”), a refreshing blend of water and fruit.

Soda Floats (United States)

Combining two kinds of sweets into one is a strategic choice when it comes to keeping cool. Soda floats are simple drinks that consist of a scoop or two of ice cream in a glass of soda, most commonly root beer or cola. Choosing unique combinations of soda and ice cream flavors is where the true art comes in. Try orange soda and vanilla ice cream for a creamy citrus taste, or ice cream with a stout for a more adult beverage.

Mochi Ice Cream (Japan)

While technically created by a Japanese-American businesswoman, mochi ice cream can now be found worldwide. Mochi, a traditional pounded rice dessert from Japan, is filled with various flavors of ice cream and topped with a light dusting of powdered sugar. The result is a bite-size delicacy of sweet and chewy rice with a cool center of ice cream. Not a fan of ice cream? Try some mochi filled with fresh fruit.

Annin Tofu (China)

Also known as almond tofu, annin tofu is an almond-flavored gelatin dessert popular in Chinese communities. Ingredients include almond milk, agar or gelatin, and water. In some restaurants, it’s served alongside fruit cocktail in a giant bowl as an after-dinner dessert. Relatively light, it’s a nice palette cleanser after a hefty meal.

Gelato and Ice Cream (Everywhere)

A list of cold summer treats isn’t complete without mention of gelato and ice cream. Available everywhere, it’s a favorite across the globe. Gelato, originally from Italy, can now be found in stores from China to Argentina.

Of course, other popular iced desserts like sorbet and frozen yogurt are worth exploring to beat the heat. Whatever you choose, be sure to stay hydrated and consume electrolytes to stay healthy, because the heat wave is no laughing matter.

What snacks and drinks do you consume to cool off during hot summers? Let us know on our Facebook Page, and be sure to “like” telc English for more articles on language and culture from around the world!