Shikashika is a shaved ice drink made from glacier ice in Peru and Bolivia. In some rural communities, the extraction and sale of ice continues to be a primary natural resource for local economies. Ice merchants extract the blocks with an axe by hand and transport them down from the mountains atop mules. The unit of sale is usually an ice block of approximately 40 kilos which is sold to Shikashika vendors. Each 40 kilo block sells for approximately 17 USD. In turn, Shikashika is sold for approximately .15 cents in plastic bags with colorful sweet syrups at Andean festivals and on market day. The word Shikashika is from the Amerindian language Quechua. The word is an onomonopiea. An alternative word for Shikashika in Spanish is "raspadilla."
Documentary film links
In 2008 Huaraz Satyricon Cinema produced a documentary film about a Shikashika business in the Andean Highlands. Filmed in Peru, the documentary reveals the process of making a colorful shave ice called Shikashika. To make it one family must journey afoot into the Andes mountains where they cut enormous blocks of ice with an axe and bare hands. On the return journey they strap the ice blocks atop mules and lead them down steep granite canyons. The following day Shikashika is sold at the steps of a cathedral in the valley far below. The film offers a rare and focused glimpse into life and work in the Peruvian highlands.
official Shikashika film website
Huaraz Satyricon Cinema
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Shikashika