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Estampas de Mi Ciudad – Nieve de Sabores (The Many Flavors of ‘Snow’ )

A few of the many flavors of nieve. Photo Credit: Manuel Rivera. Mercado 20 de Noviembre, Oaxaca México

In Mexico, and especially in Oaxaca, the art of making nieve (Spanish for ‘snow’) is a tradition passed on from generation to generation. For centuries, nieve artisans or neveros have crafted this dessert by hand, using only fruit and no artificial coloring or flavoring. If you are in Oaxaca, you will easily be able to indulge in this festive edible art, which will lure you from wooden containers on streets and markets. A wide array of both usual and unexpected  flavors is typically available wherever nieve is sold- chocolate, strawberry, corn, cheese, mezcal, rose, avocado and soursop, to name a few. There are also deliciously surprising combinations such as the popular beso de ángel, or  ¨angel´s kiss¨, which typically combines cherries with almonds and other fruits, delivering a complex yet delicate texture and flavor.  Although still widely available, today, artisan nieves face the overwhelming competiton of mass-produced ice cream.