Shaved ice, snow cones, Italian ice, and a whole host of other delicious frozen treats are all based on one core principle: when people are hot, the only thing that can quench their thirst needs to be ice-cold. All these refreshments have minor differences – snow cones often use coarser crushed ice, Italian ice is flavored before it is frozen, shaved ice is usually incredibly fine, etc. – but they all share a common ingredient: ice.
Mixing flavorings with ice is probably an idea that has occurred to nearly every person who has encountered snow in the history of mankind. Reports exist of Alexander the Great mixing snow with fruit juices, wine, and honey. In Ancient Rome, Emperor Nero supposedly began the practice of storing ice from nearby mountains in pits covered with straw and using it to create beverages flavored with juice and honey. Similar accounts exist in just about every culture where the weather is hot and snow-covered mountains are nearby: Greece, Italy, Japan, Hawaii, and China all have a history of flavored snow or ice drinks.
Before the advent of modern refrigeration, though, ice was a luxury in temperate and warm climates. Although it’s hard to imagine, there wasn’t even a market for ice in some tropical regions. In the early 19th century, an entrepreneur – Frederic Tudor – developed a system for shipping ice from New England to the Caribbean island of Martinique, but residents there had no idea what to do with that ice once it arrived. The vast majority of them had never seen anything frozen and didn’t really see a need for it – they had, after all, been doing just fine without ice for their whole lives. He did use that ice to make ice cream in the tropics, which was widely regarded as impossible at the time. Tudor stuck with his idea, though, and by the end of his life he had created a shipping network that made ice the second-largest export out of
America, which served as an impetus for inventing mechanical refrigerators to preserve – and even create – ice.
Less than 150 years later, we have developed ways to not only freeze water anywhere on earth – and keep it frozen – but to supercool computers and scientific equipment; the Large Hadron Collider in Europe, for example, operates at -456 degrees Fahrenheit – a mere three degrees above absolute zero. With incredible cooling power available in the home and on the go, just about anyone can enjoy delicious icy beverages whenever they want.
At Snowie, we are the go-to experts in the world of shaved ice. From our wide variety of flavorings to shavers and accessories for home or commercial use to fully outfitted shaved ice buses you can use to start your own shaved ice business – we have everything you need to enjoy shaved ice in your home or provide relief to your customers on even the most scorchingly hot summer days. So whether you’re searching for new, exciting shaved ice flavors, looking for a high-quality shaved ice machine, or thinking of starting your own shaved ice business – Snowie has what you need. Contact us today or browse our online store for all your shaved ice needs. We look forward to doing business with you!