Taiwanese Ice at Taiwan Cafe
My DC & I ordered the Taiwanese Ice one night last summer (or was it the summer before?) on a lark, as we love just about everything we ever order at Taiwan Cafe. We loved it, too, and then ordered it again with a bigger party to discover we were the only ones loving it.
So, when we saw the sign on the wall of specials announcing its return, it was with a hint of trepidation that we ordered it again. This time the whole group loved it.
I don't recall having read any other posts on the topic, so in short, Taiwanese ice seems to me to basically be a giant snow cone, only instead of fruit syrup, it's loaded with sweetened condensed milk, taro, red beans, stewed peanuts, and an assortment of jellies. Frankly, it looks disgusting, but boy is it cool, sweet, and refreshing.
I've had this in northeastern Taiwan; ingredients included raw egg, red beans, crushed peanuts, and raisins. They call it "truckers' ice"--apparently truckers eat a lot of it--also "missionaries' ice". The early missionaries invented it (so I was told) because they needed protein to make the hike across those mountains on their way to convert the natives. Glad to hear that I can get this dessert much closer to home.
My Taiwanese ex-girlfriend introduced me to this stuff -- and used to make me order it in Mandarin from the store in Flushing where we used to eat it. It took some getting used to, but I like it. I didn't know Taiwan Cafe had it -- another excuse to go back (like I need one).
Hilarious. I am actually eating some right now at home. I second the "control your ingredients" notion. I really only like red bean and condensed milk on top of my shaved ice.
Super easy to make at home, btw.