Nieves, which directly translates to “snows,” is the Mexican term used to define a wide variety of frozen desserts. Nieves differ from traditional European ice creams by having a lower fat content, a crunchier texture caused by ice crystals, and often no dairy (although some flavors are milk-based). While Mexico is known for boasting many unique flavors, the inventive nieves of Dolores Hidalgo’s central park are in a class of their own. Around the city’s main garden, vendors gather to serve nieves flavors ranging from chicharrón (pork rinds) to mole to a shrimp-and-octopus combo.
Some trace these nieves flavors to Dolorense nevero Don Victorio González. In the early 20th century, Don Victorio was one of the neveros known for preparing his own nieves and then selling them out of large steel containers. These steel containers are still synonymous with nieves throughout Mexico; however, with the larger selection of flavors on offer, they have become smaller.
Don Victorio’s zapote sorbet is said to have been a favorite of Dolorense singer José Alfredo Jiménez, but the vendor was also known for an experimental streak that eventually led to the modern-day meatier dessert options.
Today, Nieves Don Victorio is joined by other vendors such as Torres and El More in setting up their traditional stands on the periphery of this town’s central park. Look for the signs advertising the wide range of flavors.