The History of the Snow Cone

The snow cone is a flavored treat that is made up of shaved ice, along with syrup based flavoring. Usually, flavored to taste like fruit, snow cones have become one of the most beloved treats for young and old alike. They have become one the most desired treats during the hot summer months because of their ability to help people cool down and relax. There are many different types to choose from, like the “stuffed” cone, and ones that have vanilla ice cream inside of them. They are often times sold with a cup and a spoon, while others are designed to be eaten by hand, just like a ice ream cone would be eaten.

Ernest Hansen was the first person to patent for shaving blocks of ice in 1934, while living in New Orleans. Looking for a more sanitary way to shave blocks for the Italian ice, his invention was born. It was his wife that was the one to first add flavors to the ice, which usually came in fruity colors. New Orleans has kept the tradition of these snowballs ever since their creation. Over time, snowballs became known as what are now called snow cones. They can be found at sporting events, carnivals, parks and festivals. Now they are made from either hand or with a machine to do the crushing for them. There are also snow cone machines available to make them at home. They are sold online and the sites also offer different flavorings and supplies to complete the project.

Most of the icy varieties in the US are made into a round shape for easy sitting inside of the cone. On the other hand, in Puerto Rico, they are known as the piragua, because of their pyramid-like shape. In Puerto Rico, most of these treats are sold are by vendors that walk back and forth the streets. They are called shaved ice in Hawaii, and usually come in their own paper cups shaped like cones. The rainbow flavor usually has three separate syrup flavors mixed together in order to give the desired look and taste. The people in Mexico call them raspado, because it means to scratch, like scratch the ice.

There has been a lot of confusion over the Italian ice and the snow cone. Ice enthusiasts are able to determine the difference based off of the purity of the ice itself. Most of the time, snow cones are made to order. The crushed ice is molded first, and then the fruit flavoring is added to taste.

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