It all started with Instagram. My sister, who lives in South Korea, posted a photo of patbingsu, a Korean dessert that takes shaved ice and tops it with fruit, fruit syrup, sweet red beans, condensed milk and other ingredients that may sound like they don’t belong together. The key is really fluffy ice that holds the syrup, and the contrast of different textures mixed in with the sweet, chilly base.
In my search for patbingsu in New York, which you can find at Tous les Jours and other Korean sweets cafés around the city, I went down a rabbithole of Asian shaved ices and ended up obsessed with Taiwanese-style shaved snow. This summer snack is having a moment right now, perhaps because it’s the perfect marriage of creamy, fluffy, crunchy and chewy. (more…)