Minutas are a Salvadoran frozen treat similar to a snow cone. The frozen base is made of shaved ice. The ice is scooped into the serving container then topped with colorful flavored syrups. Additional toppings can also be added. These include condensed milk, fresh fruit, sweet colorful shredded coconut and sprinkles.
In El Salvador, minutas can be found sold by vendors pushing shaded carts filled with toppings and large ice blocks. The ice block is sometimes wrapped in plastic and packed in salt to slow it down from melting in the hot climate. The ice is freshly shaved every time a minutas is ordered.
Minutas are not only sweet. It can be made with savory toppings. One popular topping combination is lemon juice, salt and chili.
Origin & Cultural Significance
The origin of shaved ice desserts varies. The first documented shaved ice dessert is from 27 BC during the reign of Emperor Nero, in Rome. He had supposedly sent slaves to collect snow from the mountains which were then eaten, flavored with honey and fruit.
In more recent history, shaved ice comes from Japan where it is called Kakigori. During the Heian period 794- 1185, in the colder months, ice blocks from the mountains were saved for the summer months when they were then shaved and served covered in sweet sap. It’s unclear how shaved ice came to South America or if it was an original idea due purely to it being the perfect climate to enjoy such a treat.
Photo Credit: Garrett Ziegler
Minutas are a Salvadoran frozen treat similar to a snow cone. The frozen base is made of shaved ice. The ice is scooped into the serving container then topped with colorful flavored syrups.
- Mangoes peeled and diced – 2
- Sugar – ¾ cup
- Vanilla extract – 1 tsp
- Water – 1 cup
- Strawberries crushed – 2 cups
- Sugar – ¾ cups
- Water – 1 cup
- Coconut, grated - 1 cup
- Sugar - ¾ cup
- Water - 1 cup
- Evaporated milk - ½ cup
- Add the chopped mango a small pot.
- Add the sugar, vanilla extract, and water. Stir to mix. Simmer over medium
heat then turn the heat down to medium-low to low.
- Cover, leaving a crack for the steam to escape, and cook for about 30 minutes. Stir occasionally.
- Strain through a fine strainer. Press gently on some of the meat to get juices out.
- Allow to cool completely.
- Boil the water in a large, non-stick saucepan.
- Over medium heat, one minute after boiling, add the sugar, stirring constantly until boiling and thickening.
- Add the crushed strawberries and mix well.
- Stir another 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat and let cool completely.
- Boil the water in a large non-stick coated saucepan.
- Over medium heat, 2 minutes after boiling, add the sugar and mix.
- Add the grated coconut and evaporated milk.
- Cook for 20 minutes over low to medium heat and allow to thicken and cool completely.
- Place shaved ice in the bottom of a glass or saucer.
- Drizzle liberally with cooled syrup, as desired.
- Serve immediately.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 353Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 5mgSodium: 52mgCarbohydrates: 79gFiber: 3gSugar: 75gProtein: 2g