What are Snow Cones?

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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Niki Foster
  • Last Modified Date: 12 October 2019
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Snow cones are a type of snack or dessert food, often enjoyed on hot summer days. They are made of ice shavings, pressed tightly within a cup or paper cone, and flavored with sweet syrup. The syrup used for snow cones is usually very brightly colored and fruit-flavored.

There are some variations on traditional snow cones. Some snow cones include a layer of soft-serve ice cream or frozen yogurt. This type of snow cone is often referred to as a stuffed snow cone. Some snow cones are served with a straw, a spoon, or both, while others are eaten without such tools, much like an ice cream cone is eaten.

A New Orleans, Louisiana inventor by the name of Ernest Hansen is credited with patenting the first ice block shaver. His wife made a variety of flavored syrups for what could be described as his artificial snow. Referred to as snow balls, this cool and refreshing treat continues to be popular in New Orleans.

Over time, people began to refer to snow balls as sno-cones or snow cones. They are most popular in major cities and are often sold at fairs, carnivals, amusement parks, and stadiums. Some ice cream trucks travel city neighborhoods selling them, and snow cones are sometimes sold in city parks as well.


It is worth noting that a traditional snow ball treat features ice that is more fluffy than that of a snow cone, with flavoring that is absorbed and becomes a part of the ice. With snow cones, the ice tends to be crunchier and the flavoring is often sucked out of the ice during consumption or sinks to the bottom, leaving still cold, but flavorless ice behind. Sometimes, snow cones are confused with water ice, Italian ice, or other ice-cold treats. However, water ice is usually flavored during the production process, while snow cones are typically flavored at the time of sale. The type of flavoring used is often very different as well.

Some people choose to make snow cones at home, and there are many easy recipes to be found on the Internet and in dessert books. Many toy stores sell small, manual snow cone makers to be used by children. For homemade snow cones, however, a machine isn't really necessary, as ice can be shaved or crushed using a blender.


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Post 2

@momothree- You could probably ask your neighbor and he would tell you. However, I happen to know the secret! My cousin also has a snow cone stand and I asked her what the cream was. She said it is just sweetened condensed milk, such as Eagle Brand milk.

Post 1

Every summer, my kids look forward to snow cones. Our neighbor has a snow cone business and he sets up in the same place every year and that is definitely a treat. They have so many different flavors. I am a huge fan too. One particular kind I like are the ones that have cream. For example, blueberry cream, strawberry cream, etc. I wonder, though, what is the cream? He pours it from a bottle and it is really thick. He drizzles it all over the snow cone. It sure is good but I would love to know what it is.

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