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Snow Cones: Sugar and Ice and Everything Nice
A deliciously simple mixture of ice and flavored syrup, snow cones are perfect for carnivals, parties, and summer time. Read on to learn more about this sweet staple.
Snow cones. Snowballs. Raspa. Kakigori. The frozen treat goes by many names, but it seems that almost every country has one or more variations on a shaved-ice dessert. The basic foundation is always the same: sweet syrups poured over crushed or shaved ice—a quintessential warm-weather treat.
But regional variations abound. The “snowball” traces its roots back to Baltimore, where it’s made with shaved ice and often topped with marshmallow. New Orleans also has its own take on the snowball, made with ice shaved so fine it’s usually served with a straw. “Shave ice” hails from Hawaii, a variation on the Japanese version, kakigori. Whereas ice is otherwise only used to cool down volcanoes, these island versions often come in a signature “rainbow” flavor and sport toppings of vanilla ice cream and sweet azuki beans.
The snow cone made its first appearance at the 1919 Texas State Fair. Its inventor, Samuel Bert, patented his ice-crushing machine, and his State Fair stand went on to sell more than a million cones a year by 1951.
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