· By Chamoy City Limits
Unveiling the Mystery of the Pink Leche Raspa
It started with a vivid memory of a bright pink syrup, drizzled over chipped ice, a staple of my childhood summers in Corpus Christi. The exact composition of this enigmatic concoction has long been shrouded in secrecy, but I was on a quest to figure it our so that I could bring it to San Antonio and serve it on the Chamoy City Limits truck.
Those who have tried it know that pink leche is an amalgamation of flavors with notes of vanilla, cinnamon, possibly caramel, and a mix of other flavors that I couldn’t put my finger on.
My quest to unravel the secret of this syrup began with a journey to a raspa shop in the Rio Grande Valley owned by a friend and colleague. His shop was known for his raspas and one of his top sellers was - you guessed it- the pink leche.
With permission, I secured a sample of the syrup in a ziplock bag on ice, which kept it cool for the journey home. This little bag of intrigue was about to open up a world of culinary discovery. He asked me to bring a sample back, and he would try what I came up with. I spent hours refining my own recipe, working with his sample as a baseline. I tried a combination of flavor elements, trying to perfect the flavor balance and the consistency of the final product.
After a few tries (and a few calls to my friend in the RGV) …a taste test revealed an uncanny resemblance to the original. The colors matched too — a brilliant pink that brought back a rush of nostalgia. He rates it a 5/5 stars, by the way.
In essence, this journey has been about more than just unlocking a recipe. It was about preserving a piece of culture and making it accessible to the our customers at the truck, and our home cooks who can use it make shaved ice at home. And while I won't be divulging the secret recipe, the fruit of this laborious endeavor, the Chamoy City Limits Pink Leche Concentrate Syrup, is now available for everyone to enjoy!