In Paraguay most ice is in bar, not cube, form. Plastic bags are filled with water and frozen into foot-long cylindrical bars. Many people sell ice out of their homes as a way to make some extra money. You will see “ice for sale” signs in front of houses all over Paraguay. The going rate is between Gs. 500 and Gs. 1,000 per bar.
What are the merits of Paraguayan ice tubes when compared to ice cubes? For one thing larger chunks of ice take longer to melt. One long tube broken into two chunks will keep your water cold throughout several rounds of tereré. Of course a piece of ice the size of a beer can is not useful in certain situtations. Sometimes you need smaller pieces of ice. That´s when the other benefit of Paraguayan-style ice comes in. Breaking bars of ice is fun and a great way to release any pent up energy. Here are some suggested methods for breaking ice depending on your mood (I recommend leaving the ice encased in plastic until it’s broken up).
Civilized method: Give the ice bar a couple of forcefull taps with a hard object such as a pestle or
handle of a heavy serving utensil.
Brute force method: Hold on tight and smack the bar against the edge of your sink, counter top, or a table.
Anger management method: Check that no one is looking. Envision your boss, an ex, or that supermarket teller who gave you candy instead of money (would she have let you pay in candy? No!). Hurl the ice bar at the ground with all your might. This method might not result in many useable chunks but at Gs. 500 per bar it makes for cheap therapy.
Admit it, you could never have this much fun with an icecube tray!