In Italy, ice is so abundant that it even comes in exotic flavors such as spaghetti meatballs and clam linguine, both of which have completely supplanted their unfrozen counterparts. Today's Groupon gives you a taste of this ethereal international delicacy: for $5, you get $10 worth of Italian ice and frozen treats at Rita's in Vernon Rockville on Kelly Road or South Windsor on Ellington Road.
Every day, Rita's serves up fresh, fruitified Italian ice ($1.79-5.30) in more than 30 flavors (several are sugar-free), including strawberry, cotton candy, Swedish Fish, chocolate chocolate chip, piña colada, mango, green apple, and wild black cherry. Along with creamy ice, Rita's also sells icy cream. Case in point: Rita's famously frozen old-fashioned custard ($2.45-$3.96), a robust dish that—like revenge—is best served cold in a cup, cone, or overflowing El Camino truck bed. Rita's custard involves a different freezing process than ice cream and boasts creamier texture that makes regular ice cream feel like gravel sprinkled with sandpaper shreds. Rita's most popular frozen treat, gelati ($3.50-$4.00), takes its cue from brunch, twilight, and sporks and blends two great things to create an even greater thing—in this case, the flavorful variety of Italian ice with the smoothitude of frozen custard. Rita's also offers an assortment of specialty Misto shakes ($3.77-$4.20), and fat-free soft-serve Slenderitas ($2.45–$3.96), all of which make for a tasty treat as well as a deliciously soothing topical treatment for chicken pox.
More than 426,600 Facebookers like Rita's Italian Ice.
During the sweltering summer of 1984, former Philadelphia firefighter Bob Tumolo decided to open the first Rita's Water Ice, naming it after his wife. The specially formulated treat fueled Rita's growth, expanding the family-run business to more than 500 franchised locations nationwide. Despite the incredible expansion, each Rita's stays true to the company's origins by mixing their Italian ice according to Bob's original recipe. Their most famous dessert, the Gelati, features layers of his signature Italian ice between two giant dollops of custard, combining flavors such as mango with vanilla or introducing recently emigrated Swedish fish to vanilla or chocolate. Rita's also promotes community awareness with regular fundraisers for organizations such as Relay for Life.