There is nothing like a freezing cold, multi-flavored concoction such as a snow cone to bring cheer to your heart and a smile to your face on a sweltering day. So many flavor selections to make, a lot of varied combinations of syrups from which to select. Where do you start? How daring do you need to be?
The fundamental snow cone is a sweet treat made with tightly packed, shaved ice flavored with one or more vividly colored, sugary syrups, generally fruit-flavored. One of many variations, the”stuffed” snow cone has a layer of soft-serve vanilla ice cream in the center. Some snow cones need a spoon for them to be consumed, while others are supposed to be held like an ice cream cone.
Loads of snow were lugged down the mountain tops to the city. Syrup was added to scooped snow to make possibly the world’s first frozen dessert.
Skipping approximately 1,500 decades, we arrive at the snow cone’s next landmark. At that time, hand tools, such as hand-held ice shavers, were designed specifically to generate snow balls. By the late 1800s, a lot of manufacturers were turning out ice shavers having the ability to shave a block of ice into soft, fluffy”snow.” It wasn’t until the 1920s that this icy treat became popular in locales like New Orleans.
In 1919, at the State Fair of Texas, an enthusiastic audience was able to purchase handmade snow cones from Samuel Bert of Dallas. By 1920, he had devised a snow cone-making machine. He continued selling his snow cones there, also selling his machines worldwide, until his death in 1984.
The first known, patented motorized ice block shaver to produce New Orleans-style shaved ice, was, in 1934, created by inventor Ernest Hansen of New Orleans, Louisiana. This machine prompted him to invent a more elegant and hygienic version of the already popular Italian ice offered by pushcart vendors in New Orleans. Wife Mary concocted several flavors of fresh syrups to be used in flavoring Hansen’s finely shaved artificial”snow” Snow balls are a favorite dessert in New Orleans ever since.
Snow balls have gained popularity worldwide, but outside of New Orleans they are sometimes known as snow cones.
Names and Variations:
Snow cones produced in the United States are generally produced in the form of a ball. However, in Puerto Rico, they are called piraqua, since they were formed in the shape of a pyramid. The majority of Puerto Rican snow cone peddlers sell their wares from their cars.
Mexicans and those residing in the adjoining Texas border region eat raspados (raspas for short). The term raspar means”scratch;” the name raspado could be translated into English as”scraped ice.”
A popular Hawaiian treat is known as shaved ice and I sold in cone-shaped paper cups. The”Rainbow,” a popular flavor, is made with three flavors which are usually chosen for their color and aesthetics rather than for the taste compatibility. (Beauty vs. taste? Is something backwards here?) Hawaiian ice is ordinarily shaved to a finer texture than can be found with other snow cones so that the syrup colors are retained longer and more intensely, again trying for a better presentation. As stated at the peak of this article, it is not uncommon to find a scoop of vanilla ice cream in the bottom of the paper cup.
On occasion, a snow cone fan can get a small gum ball at the base of the paper cone.
From time to time, snow cones are confused with Italian ices or water ices. But, water ice purists insist that snow cones must be flavored after production, at the point of sale, while flavor is added to water ices as the ice itself has been made. Italian ice is a favorite in New York City. Even though it’s generally sold in Pizzerias or Italian Ice Shops, street vendors throughout the city peddle this sweet treat all over the city.
Nonetheless, southwest of New York City sits Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, with its specialization, water ice, which can be manufactured from blending flavorings (usually fruit juices or chocolate and coffee ). A variation on this frozen dessert is gelato, popular across america. Gelato layers water ice and frozen yogurt, frozen custard, or soft-serve ice cream, into a parfait.
There is an extensive number of syrup flavorings, which can be combined for some exceptionally unusual mixtures. There are lots of normal flavors for the shy while, on the other hand, there are flavors that, when placed together in one treat, may grow hair on your fingernails.