Mexican ice cream is an essential part of the job for taco editor José R. Ralat. He uses it as a palate cleanser between visiting taquerias across the state and has long wanted to dedicate an entire article to the varied and distinct flavors found in one of these shops. Mexican ice cream parlors feature some similarities to their American counterparts—you’ll find chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla in the freezer case. But they also contain so many different flavors, especially those using fresh fruits and natural ingredients. This guide serves as a primer to the more common flavors you might come across (many can also be had in paleta form), but we (Ralat and associate food and drink editor Kimya Kavehkar) decided to get a bit more . . . psychological with it. Like the zodiac signs, the Myers-Briggs test, and the Enneagram, what kind of ice cream you order can offer fascinating insight into your personality. So, on a late summer day, we took our seats at the Airport Boulevard location of Las Mangonadas, a Mexican ice cream shop, and tasted our way through several flavors, from familiar to wacky, to determine who, exactly, would order these treats.
Queso (Cotija): You Have a Superiority Complex
Okay, we get it, you’re not like other people. No, really, you love the taste of salty, funky cheese in your dessert—and you’re not afraid to proclaim it out loud. In fact, you’re saying it a little louder to impress everyone around you. You’re the type to do things just for the aesthetic, and your Instagram feed proves it. Are you secretly wishing you got a scoop of coconut but are still gamely eating a frozen version of an ingredient that belongs in a taco with a smirk on your face? Maybe.
Aguacate (Avocado): You’re Cool, Like Actually Cool
While the cotija orderer thinks they’re cool, you have the credentials and the je ne sais quoi to back it up. You don’t have to be a “pick me,” and you’re not hoping for brownie points for your choice. Buttery, subtly sweet, complex, full of surprises—that’s avocado ice cream, and that’s you. Add a dash of Tajín on top and you get even more complex—and a little spicy. People are hoping you’ll notice them. Hey, are you doing anything after this?
Beso de Ángel: You’re Super Sweet
This cherry-flavored, bubble gum–colored base is layered with goodies like flecks of coconut, graham crackers, and marshmallows. It looks like a pink mess, but you’re pulling it off. You could be a charmingly kooky kindergarten art teacher or a flashy-but-wholesome drag queen reading at your local library. You’re really good with kids—you just get them. You might be a little much for some people, but no one would deny you’re “just so sweet.”
Coco (Coconut): You Never Go Out of Style
You’re a classic. You’re penny loafers, red lipstick, a well-tailored blazer. You know you look good, so why experiment with a surefire formula? You might seem vanilla on the surface (coconut ice cream has a snowy white color, after all), but there are layers of flavor within you: fresh, luscious, slightly tropical, with just the right amount of texture (from the coconut flakes, of course). We’re calling you in a fashion emergency because you’ll know just what to do.
Cookie Monster: You Have Peter Pan Syndrome, or You’re a Literal Child
There’s a certain type of person who would be attracted to the unnaturally blue hue of this ice cream, and it’s a five-year-old. Or someone who’s not ready to grow up yet. Listen, you can’t commit to a relationship, career, or housing situation—you don’t even have a headboard—and that’s okay. Just know that someday you’ll have to get past wanting your ice cream with two different types of cookies—Oreo and chocolate chip—crushed in. For now, we’ll just say you’re “healing your inner child.”
Ferrero Rocher: You’re Luxurious, if a Bit Boring
This flavor featuring the hazelnut-filled chocolate treat is a Mexican ice cream shop standard, and it has never occurred to you to order something different. You’ve totally bought into the branding with the Italian name and the gold-foil covering, even if you think the rich, earthy flavor of hazelnut is just adequate. It looks and sounds like something rich people like, so you’re on board. Maybe you’ve never made an original choice in your life, but you’re stable and a provider. Listen, can we borrow $100? Swear we’ll pay it back ASAP, but we know you’re good for it.
Mamey: Your Main Personality Trait Is That You Love to Travel
Your dating profile contains an exhaustive list of countries you’ve traveled to and ones that are still on your bucket list. Order a scoop of mango or guava? What are you, a townie? No, you’ll go for mamey, the orange fruit that tastes like a sultry cross between sweet potato, apricot, and pumpkin. Come to think of it, the best mamey ice cream you’ve had was at this little paleteria in CDMX a few years ago. “Oh, you’ve never been? It’s way overcrowded with tourists now.”
Mango: You’re Basic, but in a Good Way
You always wear a helmet when riding your bike in the neighborhood, you always signal with your blinker, and you always cross the street at a designated crosswalk—you play it safe. Which—don’t get us wrong—is great! Mango is safe, too, but always delicious. To you, going way outside of your comfort zone is ordering a mangonada with layers of chamoy. Should you try that this time? Never mind, just one scoop of plain mango in a cup, please.
Nuez (Pecan): You Have Dad Energy
We don’t know what it is about dads, but they love nuts. Pistachios, walnuts, peanuts—nuts are their preferred snack of choice. So when you order pecan-flavored ice cream, we just know that you’ve got on a Kirkland-brand polo shirt and a cellphone belt clip. And if you’re not a dad, you’re exuding dadness. Someone (maybe your Cookie Monster ice cream friend) dragged you out to get dessert, and you’re thinking, Fine, I might as well get something at least a little healthy while I’m here. By the way, can you come with us to get our oil changed?
Piñón (Pine Nut): You’re a Gourmand
You’re the most fun person to go to a restaurant with. You know just want to order, and you’ll eat just about anything. You’re like Guy Fieri: obnoxious on the outside (inexplicably, pine-nut ice cream is typically colored a Pepto-Bismol pink), but engaging and knowledgeable underneath the showy veneer. You present yourself as an everyman, but like the pine nut, you have something richer, deeper, and earthier going on beneath the surface.
Tequila: You’re a Party Animal
Listen, you might need to slow down a bit. Maybe you’re selecting this ice cream because you adore the earthy sweetness of agave, but maybe it’s because you’re in need of an afternoon nip. Like with a water bottle that might contain water or vodka, we can’t tell what’s going on here. We’ll go with the former, because tequila ice cream really does taste good, even if it might leave you a little buzzed afterward.