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BEST RASPADOS (SNOW CONES) Phoenix 2006 - Frutti Sweets

We used to think cherry slushies were the bomb, until we tried the raspado de tamarindo (tamarind-flavored Mexican shaved ice) at Frutti Sweets, a cheerful little shop that also sells soda, paletas, and ice cream. This sugar-rush-inducing concoction is a potent blend of chile powder, ice, tamarindo, a squeeze of fresh lemon, and a squirt of chamoy (fruity chile sauce), with a few saladitos (salted Mexican plums) thrown in. For extra kick, it comes with a chewy, chile-tamarindo candy-coated straw for simultaneous gnawing and slurping. The result is at once sweet and tangy, with slightly savory hints of spice ? an acquired taste, to be sure, but a welcome detour from one-dimensional fruit flavors. Consider this a brain freeze with a twist.
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