Diablito (little devil) is a spicy, devilish variation on the raspado, the Mexican snow cone.
The one in the photograph below contains diced cucumber and finely cut mango, with hard-packed shaved ice at top and bottom. It's been sprinkled with salt, then finished off with a big pour of tamarind sauce. And it was delicious--very fresh, slightly tinged with chile and sweetened only with natural fruit flavors.
I had been excited about going to a festival at a Latino church, tasting genuine homestyle cooking and mingling with friendly parishioners. One of them had told me about it.
I've had wonderful times at church festivals, but this one didn't turn out as expected. It was like blundering into one of those isolated Oaxacan villages where strangers are not welcome.
As I photographed the makings of a torta (sandwich), I was accosted by a woman who must have been commissioned to investigate. She began to interrogate me and quietly threaten. The photos in my camera would have to be deleted, she said. I put the camera away, but that wasn't enough. She continued to move in on me.
As the situation became increasingly ugly, someone stepped in to stop it. And I got away, with camera intact.
How weird, to have one's good will questioned in a church, of all places, and to leave in fear from what is supposed to be a center of brotherly love and support.
But I didn't leave without that diablito. And the devil in me made me take its photo--well outside the church grounds.