Fellow volunteer Dan was on his fifth Coke of the day, I kid you not, when I finally asked him: “Is this how many sugar waters you chug back home in America?” (I may have added “you freak” to the end of this sentence.)
“Nope,” replied Dan with a (literally) sweet grin, “I never touch the stuff at home. But in Ghana, it’s heaven!”
But wait– judge not, lest you be judged, self!
Sure enough, it pains me to report that this week I, too, have fallen victim to a heat-induced food addiction. The name of my addiction is… Fan Ice.
Fan Ice is simply this: a five-inch by two inch floppy plastic sack stuffed with frozen sugar cream in either Vanilla, Chocolate, or Strawberry. The Strawberry flavor is actually yogurt rather than cream (“Fan Yogo”), and for some reason costs a few pesowas more. Either way, Fan Ice is a sigh of pure pleasure in the scorching heat of Ghana, and is one hundred percent worth those thirty to thirty-five cents!
So how do you consume it, exactly? To taste happiness, merely rip the corner of the plastic off with your teeth (I’m supremely bad at this and cover myself with creamy splatters each time, while leaving a long, skinny tube of pulled plastic instead of a neat tear), put your hot little hand around the icy satchel, and squeeze, suck, squeeze! YUM!
Fan Ice is sold in a few corner stores (though some stores with Fan Ice banners don’t actually have any, the teases), but it seems to be most commonly found hawked, half-melted, by street vendors with the tall cardboard boxes poised gracefully atop their heads like the gentleman pictured to the right.
“Sssss! Yogurt!” Hollered John to a woman across the street that fateful first day I tried the stuff. The hawker leaped across the traffic and bounced the box effortlessly from her head to her hands in a matter of seconds… and I was hooked.
Depending on the amount of (slightly worrisome) melting and re-freezing and re-melting the Fan Ice has experienced in its lifetime due to sitting under hot sun or being refrigerated in a town with frequent power outages, the consistency of the creamy treat will be different each time you buy it. Maybe there will be round kernels of ice amid the sugar, or maybe there will be long crystals to chomp, or maybe it will all be smooth as milk. Regardless, however it’s all good, because it’s aaaaall gooood. Mmm!
So what about you? You’ve moved between hot and cold climates yourself, either at home or abroad. Got any kooky climate change craving confessions to share?
The author, Lillie Marshall, is 6-foot-tall National Board Certified Teacher of English, fitness fan, and mother of two who has been a public school educator since 2003. She launched Around the World “L” Travel and Life Blog in 2009, and over 3.7 million readers have now visited this site. Lillie also runs TeachingTraveling.com and DrawingsOf.com. Subscribe to her monthly newsletter, and follow @WorldLillie on social media!