Saturday, August 13, 2011


Copos (literally, "flakes" - as in "snow flakes") are sold on the street and on many of the popular beaches of Costa Rica by copos vendors pushing two-wheeled carts with insulated compartments that house a large block of ice (maqueta de hielo). The carts are also outfitted with holders for flavored syrups ("blue"/chicle/bubble-gum, "red"/kolita/kolita, "white"/coco/coconut, "purple"/uva/grape, "green"/limón/lime, "orange"/naranja/orange), paper cups, spoons and straws.

The vendor has a cool shaving contraption that probably has a name, but I don't know it. It holds an inverted cup and directs the ice shavings up into it as the block is shaved. There's some technique involved and it's fun to take part in the spectacle of the "production" of the copo. Copos have been the cool, rich, sickeningly-sweet favorites of non-diabetic kids and adults alike for generations.

Wanna see how it's done? Here's a video I took today while walking the dogs on the beach that'll give you an idea of what I'm talking about. Unfortunately (or fortunately), I can't share with you the sugar rush and the snow cone headache that these things pack.

The sugar buzz one gets from one of these streetwise delicacies is intense, even for an adult. Give one to a three or four-year old and you'd better get your catcher's mit or goalie goves ready.

P.S.: No worries! I was able to walk my buzz off and didn't have to go to the hospital. Phew!

Pura vida!

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