In the 1930s, women in skirted bathing suits and gents shaded under boater hats flocked to the beaches of the Jersey Shore. When they grew hungry or hot, they strolled the boardwalk looking for treats, often intrigued by the frosty cups of flavored ice sold by a young Italian immigrant. That man, Tony Strollo, crafted ices from old family recipes in his garage before shuttling them to the beach in a gasping, converted bus. Over the years, Tony’s frosty treats became staples for vacationing families and discerning hummingbirds. When Tony passed his sugar-stained recipes on to his son in the '70s, Ray faced the challenge of meeting the growing demand. He tinkered with the recipes to make them in bulk within the churning, swirling belly of a soft-serve machine.
Today, a third-generation Strollo keeps the summer tradition alive at Strollo's Lighthouse Italian Ice, which has expanded to four storefronts and earned a feature on the Food Network. Still homemade, the nectarous delights include rich ice cream as well as many flavors of Italian ice. Hot from the still-popular beaches or virtual summer camp, modern families clamor for flavors of root beer, pistachio, blue raspberry, coconut, and Oreo.
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