Dominican icey at Coco Mango's

coco mangos troy icey in cone

By Deanna Fox

My winter jacket has been moved from the attic closet to the main coat rack in my entryway. It's here, friends. Or at least it's on its way.

I'm talking about winter, of course. While my attire choices change, my eating habits often revert to different times. All summer long I crave slow-simmered stews and rich desserts. In winter, I lust after garden-fresh Caprese salads and cooling treats.

Lucky for me, Coco Mango's is finally up and running in Troy, and I can indulge in chilly Dominican icey that keep my insides the same temperature as my outsides to beat winter at its own game. (C'mon, I'm not crazy! It's all using science Parabolic partial differentials! Heat diffusion!)

Known as piragua de crema in the Latin world, Dominican icey is a mash-up of ice cream and shaved ice. Not quite as smooth as ice cream -- but not as crunchy and jagged as shaved ice or a Sno-Cone -- Dominican icey is a refreshing treat that isn't cloying, but isn't watery either.

coco mangos troy menu board

Coco Mango's serves it in flavors like coconut, mango, and pineapple, but traditional flavors include tamarind, genipap (a Caribbean version of a quince), and cocofresca (coconut and strawberry mash-up). Whatever flavor you choose, it is pre-mixed into the icey, not drizzled over the top like Hawaiian shaved ice.

In that way, Dominican icey is in a frozen treat category all to itself. It can be compared to many things -- but it isn't exactly like anything else. The texture is reminiscent of sorbet, but the way it melts in your mouth is akin to Italian ice: Rich, fruity flavors cloak tiny frozen crystals, binding them together, for a silken swallow down your throat. It is scooped into a dish or cone using a paddle and pressed together firmly to create a compact orb -- like gelato.

coco mangos troy icey in cups

Part of the treat's texture comes from the condensed milk that is used to make Dominican icey. Condensed milk is a pantry staple in the Caribbean, a remnant of when refrigeration wasn't necessarily widely available and keeping raw milk was problematic. Turning that milk into ice cream was a treat reserved for the elite, whereas Dominican icey is an authentic everyperson's pleasure commonly sold from street carts.

The owners of Coco Mango's procure their iceys from New York City and also serve ice cream in interesting flavors like pistachio almond. A medium-sized bowl of the stuff will run you $3, but a Dixie Cup-sized small serving is only $1. Get it on a cone, if you'd like, but I recommend a cup.

If you go, try the mango flavor, which is pungent and perfectly sweetened, almost like eating slices of frozen mango topped with honey.

coco mangos troy interior

Coco Mango's location -- on Congress Street in Troy -- is interesting in its own way. As downtown Troy continues its revitalization, it welcomes in ethnic eats that help build the multicultural diversity that has long been part of Troy's history. Sunhee's Farm and Kitchen is just around the block on Ferry Street, and a Halal-focused bodega is just across the street. Too bad other Caribbean-focused cuisine is across town (on Fulton Street is First Choice Caribbean; meanwhile, on 6th Street and Glen Avenue is Hot Spot Jamaican) and Troy can't have it's own Latin/Caribbean food neighborhood.

Deanna Fox writes about many things, mostly about food. More can be found on her website, Twitter, or Instagram.

More Eat This:
+ Tuna sandwich at Little Pecks
+ Bullet latte at Kru Coffee
+ Cider donuts at Indian Ladder Farms
+ Toast menu at Superior Merchandise Co.
+ Lunch buffet at First Choice Caribbean (2014)

Find It

Coco Mango's
72 Congress Street
Troy, NY 12180

Comments

Love this place. And the owner is so fun to talk with!

I truly adore the beautiful color scheme in Coco Mangos... the owner made me and my family feel so welcomed. This is one of my favorite places to go in Troy... I would truly recommend this place as a place to go for children And adults...

Tried to go this afternoon at about 5 and it was closed. There was no sign with hours or anything. I hope they haven't closed for good!

Say Something!

We'd really like you to take part in the conversation here at All Over Albany. But we do have a few rules here. Don't worry, they're easy. The first: be kind. The second: treat everyone else with the same respect you'd like to see in return. Cool? Great, post away. Comments are moderated so it might take a little while for your comment to show up. Thanks for being patient.

The Scoop

Ever wish you had a smart, savvy friend with the inside line on what's happening around the Capital Region? You know, the kind of stuff that makes your life just a little bit better? Yeah, we do, too. That's why we created All Over Albany. Find out more.

Recently on All Over Albany

The slow population arc of upstate

One in three towns in New England have barely grown since the Civil War: post and visualization. pic.twitter.com/fJhi8ejrNQ— Benjamin Schmidt (@benmschmidt) July 25, 2017... (more)

Halal options at Zaitoon Kitchen

How bold is this claim: The best new dining hotspot in the Capital Region is that area around the Latham Circle. I mean it. When... (more)

Good swimming spots for dogs?

Laura emails: We added a puppy to our family this spring and now that the days are hot and humid, I was hoping someone would... (more)

Morning Blend

Paid family leave New York State's new paid family leave law takes effect in 2018 -- but it doesn't apply to public employees, though a... (more)

Talking about the Veggie Mobile on its 10th anniversary

Capital Roots is celebrating the 10th anniversary of The Veggie Mobile -- its rolling green market on a truck -- with a party called The... (more)

Recent Comments

Mine is a plug-in hybrid, and so perhaps I didn't have as much angst about this question as I might have with a wholly electric vehicle, but I had full confidence in Larry's Foreign Auto from their work on my prior vehicle, and they were not daunted by a hybrid. ...

Lamb sloppy joe at Chez Mike

...has 4 comments, most recently from doc

A look at the latest plan for the 1 Monument Square project in Troy

...has 27 comments, most recently from Mike

Halal options at Zaitoon Kitchen

...has 1 comment, most recently from llcwine

Here's how New York State's new paid family leave program will work

...has 1 comment, most recently from Sean

Good swimming spots for dogs?

...has 2 comments, most recently from chrisck