There's more to summer than ice cream. Cold and sweet desserts flavored with flowers and fruits, pickles and syrups, chili powder and spices that hail from around the world offer deep refreshment. There’s shaved ice styled like they do in Korea and Cancún; fruit-laden slushies spiked with syrup and sweetened condensed milk — even ice cream with noodles.
All you need is a taste for adventure — and maybe, a spoon.
Trends tend to go mind-bogglingly viral in Korea, and bingsu is no exception. The icy dessert has gone from a simple bowl of shaved ice with red beans and condensed milk to an all-out international sensation. In Jericho, CaféInn owner Jennifer Bae tops hers with fresh fruits, ice cream and a macaron — get it with mangoes or strawberries, matcha or Earl Grey. Whatever you choose, the snow-soft ice melts like sweet silk in your mouth — and the fruit is fresh, fresh, fresh.
FIND IT AT:
CaféInn, 15 Jericho Tpke., Jericho; 917-882-7011
Northern Canaan Bakery, 478 Plainview Rd., Hicksville; 516-931-1113, canaanbread.com
Columbia’s native party-in-a-cup is a cocktail of fresh fruits, crushed ice and tangy syrup. Is it a drink? A dessert? Maybe a snack. Whatever you call it, it’s a sweet and tangy textural cacophony mellowed by a generous pour of condensed milk, which sinks to the bottom as half-frozen, buttery goo. Reach deep into the cup with the provided spoon; You can mix it in, or grab a spoonful and drizzle it over crisp green apples or pebbles of ice — or just lap it up like a hungry kitten.
FIND IT AT:
Punto Rojo, Glen Cove, Freeport, Hicksville and Uniondale; puntorojorestaurant.com
At first glance, this epic Filipino dessert looks like a mashup between an ice cream sundae and a snow cone. Pronounced "hallow hallow" — that’s "mix-mix" in Tagalog — it can be made with any number of fruits, candies and toppings. At Kabayan Grill in East Meadow, it comes in a wide sundae dish: A maraschino cherry perches atop a scoop of nutty ube (purple yam) ice cream, which perches atop a mound of shaved ice doused in evaporated milk. All of this floats upon a creamy soup of sweetened red beans, coconut jellies and velveteen lobes of jackfruit. Pro tip: Take your time with this one: the flavors get even better as things melt together.
FIND IT AT:
Kabayan Grill, 1634 Front St., East Meadow; 516-500-9574, kabayangrilleastmeadow.com
Guiradelco, 324 Post Ave., Westbury; 516-333-9898
Asian One Best Grocery, 1021 Portion Rd., Ronkonkoma, 631-732-7336
Variations on this south Asian treat abound, but it invariably includes kulfi — the ultrarich Indian ice cream made with condensed milk — tukmaria (soaked basil seeds, which form a loose jelly similar to chia pudding), and rice vermicelli. At Hicksville’s Bengali Sweet Shop, the ice cream’s is stained pink with rose syrup, impossibly creamy and tastes like flowers. Translucent pink noodles and basil-seed porridge barely freeze as they blend with the frozen dairy, adding delicate chew.
Also notable: Faloodeh — Persian ice cream or shaved ice with noodles — can be had at Ravagh Persian Grill , where it presents as frozen cubes of rosewater vermicelli accompanied by sour cherries in syrup.
FIND IT AT:
Bengali Sweet Shop, 343 S. Broadway, Hicksville; 516-935-3391, bengalisweetshicksville.com
Mithaas, 217 Bethpage Rd., Hicksville; 516-605-1230, mithaas.com
Ravagh Persian Grill, Roslyn Heights and Huntington; ravaghrestaurants.com
Colbeh, 75 N. Station Plaza, Great Neck; 516-466-8181, colbeh.com
Also called chamangos or chamoyadas, these frozen coolers are all the rage on the hot streets of Mexico. They’re colored in the saturated hues of a tequila sunrise and an adventure to eat, at once savory, spicy and sweet. Each begins in a cup splashed with chamoy (sweet-and-sour chile sauce) and Tajín chile-lime salt. To that, add tart mango sorbet or Italian ice, fresh mangos, more sauce and salt, and plunk in a tamarind straw. For first-timers, half the fun is figuring out how to eat it — you can use the straw, but you’ll have to chew the gooey, pepper-laced tamarind off the bottom first (a delightful, if messy job). Finally, when you’ve drained all the slush from the cup, you can spoon out or tip back the mangoes. ¡Buen provecho!
FIND IT AT:
Vasquez Deli, 37 Sunrise Hwy., Amityville; 631-608-4300
Michoacan Michoacan A Pedir De Boca, 342 Newbridge Rd., East Meadow; 516-519-6130
Dulcemania, Amityville, Hempstead and Westbury; mangonadasdulcemania.com