Mexico has a rich and fascinating history when it comes to ice cream. It all began with the use of snow cones made from ice collected from volcanoes, a practice that can be traced back many years. However, it wasn't until about 80 years ago, with the introduction of refrigeration, that ice cream shops began to flourish in Mexico City. Today, there are a variety of unique and artisanal ice cream shops across the country, each with its own special flavors and offerings. From Cometa, which specializes in Mexican flavors like baby blue maize and prickly pear, to modern Casa Morgana, which focuses on seasonal flavors made with local ingredients, the ice cream scene in Mexico is vibrant and diverse. In addition, long-standing establishments like Chiandoni, Nevería Roxy, and La Especial de Paris continue to delight customers with their classic and exotic flavors. Whether you're looking for a taste of tradition or an innovative experience, Mexico's ice cream shops have something special to offer.
The Beginnings of Ice Cream in Mexico
Ice cream has a long and storied history in Mexico, dating back to ancient times. One of the earliest forms of ice cream in Mexico was known as "nieve de volcan," which translates to "volcanic snow." This unique treat was made using snow cones made from ice harvested from volcanoes. The ice was collected from the peaks of active volcanoes, such as Popocatepetl and Iztaccihuatl, and then flavored with various ingredients to create a refreshing dessert.
The use of volcanic ice for ice cream in Mexico can be traced back to the Aztecs, who were known for their innovative culinary practices. They would mix the ice with fruits, honey, and other natural flavorings to create a sweet and creamy treat. This early form of ice cream became popular among the Aztec nobility and was often reserved for special occasions and celebrations.
The Arrival of Refrigeration
Despite the early popularity of ice cream in Mexico, it wasn't until the arrival of refrigeration technology that ice cream shops began to flourish. About 80 years ago, refrigeration became more widespread in Mexico City, making it possible to store and sell ice cream on a larger scale.
Refrigeration allowed ice cream to be produced and sold in greater quantities, leading to the establishment of numerous ice cream shops throughout the city. This marked a turning point in the history of ice cream in Mexico, as it became more accessible to the general population. People from all walks of life could now enjoy the cool and creamy delight of ice cream.
Ice Cream Shops in Mexico City
Today, Mexico City is home to a wide variety of ice cream shops, each with its own unique offerings. From artisanal shops to old-school parlors, there is a place for every ice cream lover to satisfy their cravings. Here are just a few of the notable ice cream shops in Mexico City:
Cometa: Artisanal Ice Cream with Unique Mexican Flavors
Cometa is an artisanal ice cream shop that prides itself on creating ice cream flavors inspired by Mexican cuisine and culture. They use traditional techniques and locally-sourced ingredients to create unique flavors like baby blue maize and prickly pear. Cometa's dedication to using high-quality ingredients and their commitment to the art of ice cream making have made them a favorite among locals and tourists alike.
Casa Morgana: Modern Ice Cream with Local Ingredients
Casa Morgana is a modern ice cream shop that focuses on seasonal flavors made with local ingredients. They believe in using only the freshest, highest-quality ingredients, and they never use artificial additives or preservatives. Casa Morgana is known for their creative and innovative flavor combinations, such as avocado and lime or hibiscus and tamarind. With their commitment to sustainability and their dedication to creating delicious, high-quality ice cream, Casa Morgana has quickly become a beloved destination for ice cream enthusiasts.
Chiandoni: Old-School Ice Cream Parlor with Classic Flavors
For those seeking a taste of nostalgia, Chiandoni is the perfect place to visit. This old-school ice cream parlor has been operating since 1957 and continues to delight customers with their classic flavors. Chiandoni is known for their super soft banana ice cream, which has become a signature flavor. They also offer a variety of other classic flavors, such as chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla. With its retro ambiance and timeless flavors, Chiandoni is a must-visit for anyone seeking a taste of Mexico's ice cream heritage.
Nevería Roxy: Popular Ice Cream Parlor with Fruit Flavors
Established in 1946, Nevería Roxy is a popular ice cream parlor known for its fruit flavors and specialty ice cream combinations. They specialize in creating refreshing and innovative flavors using fresh fruits sourced from local markets. From tangy mango to creamy avocado, Nevería Roxy offers a wide range of fruit-flavored ice creams that are sure to please any palate. They also offer unique combinations, such as strawberry and basil or watermelon and mint, for those looking for something a little different. With its vibrant flavors and dedication to quality, Nevería Roxy has solidified its place as a beloved institution in the world of Mexican ice cream.
La Especial de Paris: A Historic Ice Cream Shop
La Especial de Paris is a historic ice cream shop that has been delighting customers for over a century. Founded in 1921, this charming establishment has been serving up delicious ice cream for generations. La Especial de Paris is known for its authentic vanilla ice cream, which is made using traditional methods and the finest vanilla beans. In addition to their classic flavors, La Especial de Paris also offers a selection of exotic flavors, such as tobacco and olive oil, for those looking for a truly unique ice cream experience. With its rich history and commitment to quality, La Especial de Paris continues to be a beloved destination for ice cream enthusiasts in Mexico City.
A Century of Operation
Celebrating its 100th year in operation, La Especial de Paris holds a special place in the hearts of the Mexican people. For generations, families have gathered at this ice cream shop, creating memories and enjoying the timeless delight of ice cream. The shop's longevity is a testament to the quality and craftsmanship that goes into every scoop of ice cream served at La Especial de Paris.
Authentic Vanilla and Exotic Flavors
One of the highlights of La Especial de Paris is their authentic vanilla ice cream. Made with real vanilla beans, this classic flavor is a true delight for the senses. The smooth and creamy texture combined with the delicate aroma of vanilla creates a truly unforgettable experience. In addition to their classic flavors, La Especial de Paris also offers a selection of exotic flavors that are sure to surprise and delight even the most adventurous ice cream lover. From the unexpected combination of tobacco and ice cream to the richness of olive oil, these unique flavors showcase the creativity and innovation that has made La Especial de Paris a beloved institution in the world of Mexican ice cream.
In conclusion, ice cream has a long and vibrant history in Mexico. From the use of snow cones made from volcanic ice to the arrival of refrigeration that allowed for the flourishing of ice cream shops, Mexico has embraced this frozen treat with open arms. Today, Mexico City is home to a diverse array of ice cream shops, each with their own distinct flavors and styles. Whether you prefer artisanal flavors inspired by Mexican cuisine, modern creations made with local ingredients, or classic flavors from years past, there is undoubtedly an ice cream shop in Mexico City that will satisfy your cravings. And for those looking for a taste of history and tradition, La Especial de Paris is the place to go. With its century-long legacy and commitment to excellence, this historic ice cream shop continues to capture the hearts and taste buds of ice cream enthusiasts in Mexico and beyond.