Who doesn’t love shaved ice? With its bright, cheerful colors and sweet flavors, shaved ice is a sure-fire crowd pleaser on a hot summer day! For most of us, shaved ice is a vivid childhood memory– after all, this treat has been enjoyed by children all over the world for generations.
From family fun at the stadium to buying snow cones from street vendors on long, hot summer days, shaved ice treats can be hard and crunch to soft and melty– you can enjoy them in a cone or by straw or spoon, dousing them in syrup or enjoying a subtler flavor.
Either way, shaved ice has a long history of delighting kids and creating memories.
At Snowie King, our vision was to serve up shaved ice treats in a way that parents could feel good about– so we turned to a pure, natural formula for making our delicious shaved ice flavors.
Ever wonder where this delectable treat actually came from? We’ve put together the history of everyone’s favorite summer treat.
Earliest Known Fair
Snow cones are probably best known for being sold at the local fair– the first known fair they were sold at was the State Fair of Texas in 1919.
The mastermind behind this was a man by the name of Bert Samuel, and he didn’t stop there. These treats were so popular that not only did Mr. Samuel regal fairgoers with their great taste, he actually went on to invent a snow cone machine in 1920 which he went on to sell globally.
The next great snow cone entrepreneur was Ernest Hansen, who in 1934 patented a machine known as an ice block shaver. Hansen as inspired by the common street-vendor version of Italian ice, and along with his wife Mary he not only produced many new flavors of syrup, he also made his treats more ‘snow’ like, with finer ice.
His invention, called a ‘Sno Ball’, has been a favorite New Orleans treat since then, and while Mr. Hansen died in 2005, and his wife shortly after, the family legacy continues. His granddaughter, Ashley Hansen, continues to run the company today.
Types of Shaved Ice Treats
It should be noted that there are different types of shaved ice treats- Snow Cones, for instance, are made of harder ice chips, and are more similar to traditional Italian ices, while Snow Balls are made of much more refined, softer ice.
Shaved Ice Around the World
While in North America, snow cones are generally sold in a ball-shape cone, shaved ice is popular in a variety of forms throughout the world.
In Puerto Rico they’re known as ‘piragua’ and are sold in pyramid shapes- the sweet treats are so beloved in Puerto Rico that they’re also sold in Piragua carts which drive through the streets of Puerto Rican sectors in North American cities like New York.
In Mexico, they’re called ‘raspados’, which translates to ‘scraped ice’, while in the Dominican Republic they’re called ‘frio’, or ‘cold’.
In Malaysia and Singapore, shaved ice treats are known as ice kachang, and has evolved from a red-bean dessert to include fruity flavors.
Another interesting point to note is that in many countries throughout the world, shaved ice is served with a scoop of ice cream for added flavor (yum!).
But, no matter what kind of shaved ice treat you love best, the fact is they’ve been both delighting us and helping to create great memories for generations.
At Snowie King, we didn’t invent shaved ice, we just serve it up in a way you can feel good about indulging in! Invite the bus to your next event by clicking here.