Gee Whiz, it’s Hot. Everybody is sweating from all parts of their bodies.
In my City, Baltimore, summer is not only hot, but very humid. Hot days of the summer heat in urban Maryland sometimes rival those of southern Florida. Ice cream or cold drinks do nothing for my feeling of hot. So here, for over 150 years, Baltimore, and others, have turned to Snow cones.
“Snow ice”, the feeling of winter in summer. Cones, the individual receptacle for your favorite flavor of melting—shall we say cooking of ice. Snow cones chill the body extremities, from the inside out, (for our outside skin). It is as though I am waiting for relief (in another ‘room’) just outside myself in the heat, with a snow cone. As the snow cone starts to make my outside feel more comfortable, it’s as if a stream of liquid coolant has restored me; I become more animated, talking to people, friends, while crunching and sucking small particles of ice with sweet flavor.
While my own choice is simple cherry or blueberry, the most popular flavors are marshmallow, egg custard, and ‘Tiger’s blood,’ a mixture of watermelon, coconut and strawberry. Snow cones can do what air conditioning can’t. They quiet the fire in my body and mind, cooling and relaxing my attitude.
Street enterprisers of the mid and late 1800s, invented—— Snow cones from ice block shavings were invented in those days of the 1800’s when ice was used as the primary refrigerant. The ice was shaved and put in cups for the many kids who followed ice wagons and trucks in the City of the 1800s. The cooling effect of sucking. One could add flavors to the ice, often made by your Mother, in order to make the cooling experience more to personal taste.
Either shaved originally, or crushed today, snow cones, or snowballs, provide a unique American tradition of summer. During the Depression they were known as ‘The penny or Hard times sundae.’ Theatres sold them at intermission to cool down during a performance without air-conditioning.
Today, the Baltimore-based Koldkiss company creates many flavored syrups, over 160, used in ice shaving machines. Snowball stands are everywhere on the City streets, young enterprising businesses. In Sarasota, go to the Baltimore Snowball branch factory and have a Carmel and buttered Popcorn flavored snowball. Pucker up your insides to change your outsides at the beach, and quench the fire of summer. Be calmer and happy, enjoy the season.
Photos from Paul-Allan Louis