In the Heights is out now in the US but fans have been asking “what is piragua?” about the frozen dessert sold by Lin-Manuel Miranda’s character.

Released on June 10th in the US, In the Heights tells the story of Usnavi, a New York bodega owner who hopes for bigger and better things, a dream shared by almost everyone in the Washington Heights community.

One of the key characters in the film is Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Piragüero whose main storyline in the film sees his piragua business competing for customers with a Mister Softee ice cream van, leading to a tense rivalry.

As well as shining the spotlight on the popular dessert, In the Heights also features a song about piragua courtesy of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Piragüero on the aforementioned rivalry with Mister Softee.

In The Heights – Washington Heights Trailer

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In The Heights – Washington Heights Trailer
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What is piragua?

A piragua is a frozen dessert made from shaved ice and fruit-flavoured syrup.

The pyramid-shaped treat gets its name from a combination of the Spanish words pirámide (pyramid) and agua (water), forming the word piragua.

Piraguas have their origins in Puerto Rico and are sold in Peurto Rican communities in the US by vendors known as piragüeros, traditionally from brightly coloured pushcarts as seen in the film.

Similar frozen treats are sold across Latin America with different names depending on the country of origin. For example, Mexico’s frozen treat of choice is the raspado.

Taking on the role of the competitive Piragüero in the film is Lin-Manuel Miranda who himself is of Puerto Rican descent.

Warner Bros.

In the Heights fans approve of piragua

It’s safe to say that In the Heights fans approve of the inclusion of piraguas in the film, with many taking to social media to offer up their thoughts.

One fan tweeted: “Watching #InTheHeights made me so emotional. I never thought I would see my whole life, down to the piragua man, on the big screen. Every struggle, fear, celebration, and bendiciones. Lin-Manuel DID THAT.”

While another added: “I’m watching In The Heights and now i want Piragua thanks to a song 😫”

And finally, this fan commented: “Is it a hot take that the best song in in the heights is Piragua?”

Warner Bros.

Piragua song lyrics

Ohh!
Que calor, que calor, que calor, que calo-o-or!
Piragua, Piragua
New block of ice, Piragua
Piragua, Piragua
So sweet and nice, Piragua
Tengo de mango
Tengo de parcha
De pina y de fresa
Tengo de china, de limon
De peso y de peseta, Hey!
Piragua, Piragua
New block of ice, Piragua
Piragua, Piragua
So sweet and nice, Piragua
It’s hotter than the islands are tonight
And Mr. Softee’s trying to shut me down
But I keep scraping by the fading light
Mi ‘pana, this is my town
Piragua, Piragua
Keep scraping by, Piragua
Piragua, Piragua
Keep scraping by, Piragua
Keep scraping by, keep scraping by
Lai lo le lo lai, lai lo le lo lai
Keep scraping by, keep scraping by
Lai lo le lo lai
Keep scraping by
Que calor, que calor, que calor, que calo-o-or!

In the Heights is out now in cinemas in the US and is also available on HBO Max after releasing on June 10th, 2021.

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