Snow Cone Makers

Written by Ingrid Chen
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Ice desserts have long been a popular treat, dating as far back as the late Roman Empire. Without the convenience of icemakers or shaved ice machines, Romans would literally haul snow from the surrounding mountains. This snow was made into small ball-shaped servings, topped with flavored syrup and served as an after-dinner treat.

Nowadays, frozen desserts such as ice cream, gelato and Italian ice are widely available. However, what we now know as shaved ice or snow cones are popular in street fairs and festivals. Invented in 1934 by a enterprising New Orleans individual named Ernest Hansen, the snow cone machine changed the way ice desserts were served. The concept was to create a frozen dessert similar to Italian ice, except simpler and easier to produce.
These snow cones are not unlike the original Roman ice desserts.

The Difference Between Shaved Ice and Snow Cones

Instead of the inconvenience of hauling snow, now our snow cone makers and ice shavers can replicate that texture for us. Some may use the terms "shaved ice" and "snow cone" interchangeably. However, makers of these machines will quickly point out the obvious differences.

Snow cone machines produce a coarser texture of ice. When the flavored syrups are added to the snow cone, the mix becomes drinkable. These are likely served with a straw. Shaved ice, on the other hand, is a much finer, snow-like texture. As a result of the finer shave, the syrup sticks to the ice instead of dropping to the bottom. Shaved ice is commonly served with a spoon.


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