Yes, chef and La Newyorkina founder Fany Gerson loves ice cream. So much so, that she wrote a whole book on Mexico’s plethora of flavors and rich traditions. But Fany has another love: nieves de agua (sorbet).
While American ice cream shops might only carry raspberry or maybe lemon, Mexican neverías (ice cream parlors) stock an overwhelming rainbow of flavors, like mango, prickly pear, watermelon, guava, and quince. Sorbets across Mexico tend to be consistently high quality because of the country’s exceptional fresh fruit. Producers base flavors on seasons, or prepare and freeze fresh fruits to use year-round.
While researching Mexican Ice Cream, Gerson traveled to what locals call the “true” El Carmen, a nevería in Pueblo, Mexico. She had the hard task of trying 20 different flavors, and decided the shop’s nieve de oasis (strawberry, pineapple, and orange sorbet) was the perfect balance of sweet and acid.
If you decide to make this refreshing frozen dessert at home, remember that a well-made sorbet is both creamy and smooth. Adding sugar ups the sweetness, but the liquid required to dissolve the sugar crystals can make sorbet icy when frozen. A way around this, Gerson writes, is to use a tablespoon or two of either honey or light corn syrup to add thickness. The extra body will lend itself to a creamier consistency.
- 1 quart (1 1/4 pounds) strawberries, hulled and quartered
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup diced pineapples
- 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- Juice of 1 small lime
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
For more ice cream recipes, tips, and saves for when things go awry, check out Ice Cream & Friends, our cookbook dedicated to ice cream and all its pals: pops, gelato, milkshakes—sprinkles, cones, and so much more.