Thursday, April 5, 2012

An Ideal treat: one of Belize's iconic frozen snacks.

Behold the incredible edible plastic bag of bliss known to Belizean children across the country as an ideal. This sweet frozen treat is usually made with flavoured, brightly colored snowcone sugar syrups mixed with water and poured into small plastic bags, knotted shut and stuffed in the back of someone's freezer until an overheated schoolkid shows up at their door with a shilling and a quest for something cold, sweet and refreshing. While ideals could easily be made with real fruit juice, I have never seen one.

Milkyways, the ideal's dairy-laden cousin, are where local flavours most often get a chance to shine. Sweetened condensed milk thinned with water and tasty additions such as soursop, mashed craboo or sugar corn make milkyways a heavier, richer sweet than the refreshingly simple ideal. According to my research so far, most Belizeans consider ideals to be drinks-something cool to enjoy on a hot day.

We are not a country known for ice cream, so if you come to Belize I highly recommend you buy an ideal or milkyway and participate in this local frozen tradition. It may not take the sweat off your face but at least it will put a smile on it!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I live in the US and my mom keeps talking about these ideals :) She wanted to make some using the traditional bags but can't find any in Kentucky. I tryed looking online but didn't know what to search for. Hope we make a trip to Belize soon so we can get some :)