Bao bing (Chinese: 刨冰; pinyin: bàobīng), is a type of dessert very common in Taiwan, especially popular during the hot summer months as an inexpensive and healthy way to enjoy something cool and refreshing.
To create the dessert, a large mound of ice shavings are first placed on a plate, in the past they were created by hand, either by using a large mallet to crush ice into fine pieces; in modern times, a special machine is used which make much finer and thinner ones. Some establishments may still produce their ice by hand, and thus the texture varies across the island. To the ice shavings a variety of toppings may be added, mainly colored syrup, in a matter similar to Italian ice. However, today numerous toppings are used, and the syrup is sometimes left out. Fruit toppings for baobing might include strawberries, mangoes, watermelon, and so on.
Various pre-set combinations also exist, including "Eight Treasure Ice", whose ingredients will vary from vendor to vendor, but usually include some of the following: taro, red mung beans, green mung beans, yams, sweetened peanuts, almond junket, and grass jelly. These ingredients can also be ordered separately as the customer desires.
Condensed milk is sometimes poured over the baobing as a final touch and to give an added sweetness that makes its texture and flavour very much like ice cream.
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Asian Shaved Ice (Bao Bing as I know it), www.yelp.com
Bao Bing, www.eatingintranslation.com