Archive for the ‘Ice’ Category

Ice, ice, baby.

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

Since I have been slightly involved with the profession, I am compelled to call attention to Popehat’s post about Homeland Security funds being used to purchase snow-cone machines. (Edited to add: Just to clarify, that is the snow cone/shaved ice profession, not the Homeland Security profession.)

There are several things that bother me about the coverage of this:

  1. “…the snow cone machines can make ice to prevent heat-related illnesses during emergencies”. No. Snow cone and shaved ice machines do not “make ice”, at least in the sense of producing it from liquid water. These machines require a supply of ice, generally in blocks.
  2. Are they snow cone machines or shaved ice machines? The article linked from Popehat uses both terms. But there is a difference: snow cones are generally composed of larger ice particles, and are a little more grainy. Shaved ices are composed of finer ice particles, closer to snow in texture, and are generally smoother.

Your Christmas present will be blogged.

Monday, December 13th, 2010

Mike the Musicologist came up over the weekend bearing gifts. Look what he got me.


A large black cherry for me, please.

Thursday, June 17th, 2010

Today’s outrage from the Statesman: a local vendor of snow cones is upset that the health department has shut down his stand.

Zapffe said he had no other realistic option when the Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services Department required that he take his stand — an old catering truck — to department offices in East Austin for its annual inspection and operating sticker. But Zapffe, whose sticker expired May 31, said that the stand hasn’t been mobile for years and that he’d never been required to drive the truck for inspection before. Health department inspectors always came out to check the stand, he said.

I’ve stated before that I’m a libertarian. Thus, I think in an ideal world, it would be up to the customer to make the decision on purchasing snow cones, or bacon wrapped hot dogs, or tacos, from whatever trailer they want to purchase from. I figure people can make their own decisions based on how sketchy the trailer looks.


The health department makes a good point, further on in the article, that they’re trying to enforce the same rules for everyone; food vending trailers are supposed to be readily mobile. I know something about this. My folks owned a snow cone trailer for a while, so I’ve gotten an earful on the restrictions they had to obey.

In addition, it isn’t like they ran the guy out of business. This particular “trailer” sits in the parking lot of the restaurant owned by the same guy. As the article notes, now that the “trailer” is shut down, he’s serving snow cones out of the restaurant itself.

I know this area very well; this is where Tex-Guns is located. As the Statesman notes (buried in the second to last paragraph of the article) there’s another snow cone vendor – a real trailer, on wheels, which can be moved – within 50 feet of this guy’s establishment.

Why does Zapffe deserve a break, when South Austin Sno doesn’t?

Edited to add: And in LA, one councilman is trying to restrict food trucks on city streets. Let me just say this: “kimchi quesadillas”? I think I just threw up a little.

Edited to add 2: No, not NYC as well! Could this be the end of the schnitzel truck? Say it isn’t so!

Also, I somehow managed to miss this NYT article on the new wave of shaved ice.