Shaved Ice

Written by Sierra Rein
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Known as the world's oldest frozen dessert, shaved ice has been a pleasurable hot-weather choice for more than 2,000 years. Ancient Romans used to take snow from the mountains and flavor snowballs with syrup. In the late 1800s, hand shavers shaped like small bricks were utilized to cut large bricks of ice into snowballs and then sugary liquids were poured on top.

The 1920s brought along a huge boom in the shaved ice phenomenon in America, especially in the region of New Orleans. In 1934, a motorized ice-shaving machine was created by Ernest Hansen to mimic the New Orleans shaved ice style. Today, ice shavers are plentiful and affordable, allowing this treat to be sold in a variety of different venues.

To make shaved ice at home, or if you wish to start a vending business, you need a machine that can cut the ice into small slivers that are so light and thin that the syrup will stick to all the particles. For carnivals, circuses, baseball games and other high population venues, you will want to purchase a high-volume, fast-producing ice shaver (at least 300 servings an hour) that can be placed on a cart for easy transportation. A lighter counter-top model is better for making shaved ice at home, for school parties, and for neighborhood carnivals.

Don't Forget the Shaved Ice Accessories

In addition to the machines, it is a good idea to have a bunch of serving, flavoring and transportation accessories at hand. A vendor can purchase a vending tray with a drip pan to allow his employees to wander the fairgrounds or seating areas and attract potential buyers. Ice flavor bottles with flow-control pour spouts will help dispense the right amount of flavor every time, while larger vertical or horizontal dispenser racks help keep every flavor in its correct place.

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