Latino culture

A to Z Challenge: H is for Helados

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream. Photo by Mark Cruz for


Welcome back to this week’s A to Z Challenge. I’m listing words, in Spanish or Spanglish, alphabetically. Today’s letter is H.

H is for Helados which means Ice Cream.

This is one of the most misused words in my Spanish speaking vocabulary.

For all of my childhood and teen years, I used the word “nieve” for Ice Cream although I was corrected a few times by the ice cream man.

“Nieve is snow, helado is ice cream.”

ice cream truck, photo by Paul Trienekens for

Most of the time I asked for ice cream in English to avoid any embarrassment.

On a trip to Mexico, as a young adult, I slipped and asked the waiter at a restaurant for nieve.

The response:

“It doesn’t snow here.”

My experience with Mexico wasn’t as great as I thought it’d be. I thought a return to the motherland would bring me good experiences.

For the most part, the sites did bring me that connection, but the people who worked in the hotels, service, and tours let me know that I wasn’t really Mexican. Not that they said that out loud. It was an attitude.

For someone of Mexican heritage born in the U.S, I was often called pocha.

The word wasn’t a compliment but an indicator that I spoke limited or ‘lazy’ Spanish. I’ll save a story about the use of the word for the letter P.

Until then, enjoy an helado today because every day is an ice cream day. 🙂



3 thoughts on “A to Z Challenge: H is for Helados”

  1. Hmmm, In Italian it’s gelato. Helado, gelato. I wonder if there is a common base in the two languages. something for me to Google now. The other day I ate Chocolate Mexican ice cream at a Mexican restaurant. Was that delicious!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Very interesting post! I love learning about the nuance of words and languages. I don’t know what we do to our ice cream in the US but it’s just never as good as when I go to another country! Same with chocolate! Sorry US ice cream and chocolate makers! 🙂 And, noticing the previous thread, I noticed that in Spain too. I never drink Coke. But I had one in Spain to help my post-plane nausea and swore it tasted better. I chalked it up to the vacation kick (you know everything is better on vacation). But maybe there is something to it…

    Liked by 1 person

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.