About this time every year, I start my quest to find the most perfect hot-weather treat. My afternoon searches may seem trivial to those have come to take life so seriously and have lost touch with one of childhood’s primary pleasures – the lowly snowcone.
If you’ve lived a snowcone-free adulthood, for $1 you should change that.
And I promise, if you’ll let yourself, as you wait in line to order the creation of your choice, you’ll feel it.
Feel what, you ask?
You’ll feel that unmistakable giddiness of, “I’m getting a snowcone.”
The feeling may not last long, and you may be hesitant to acknowledge it, but take it in. Appreciating life’s simpler pleasures is key to contentment.
If it’s been a while since you’ve been to snowcone heaven, don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. However, there are things you should know.
No. 1: Snowcone ice has improved. Remember watered down big, chunky ice globs you used to get in paper cones that sagged and ripped? Those days are gone. You’ll appreciate the fine texture of snowcone ice these days.
No. 2: The flavorings are better – much better. You’ll be amazed at all the choices. Don’t, for one second, wait in line at the snowcone place and think, “Oh, I’ll just get grape.” Not that there’s anything wrong with grape, but try something you’ve never tried. Go for mango or guava or Bahama Mama. Breaking out of old choices is liberating – even if it’s just about snowcone flavors.
My adult re-introduction to snowcones was courtesy of a long ago, far away neighbor. He was 11 at the time. (Now he’s a 26-year-old hotshot working on Wall Street.) But back then, he reminded me of the gift of life’s little joys – and I am grateful.
One day, he and I happened upon The Perfect Snowcone, which is rarely, if ever, a single flavor. The Perfect Snowcone needs flavor yin and yang. When my neighbor and I got to the window to order, I did the thing I do at restaurants that drives my husband cuckoo. I asked the server what he recommended. He told me to try peach and Tiger’s Blood — a flavor I’d never heard of and still have no idea of its name’s origins.
The combo was just sweet enough and just tart enough to be on the money.
Sadly, all snowcone flavorings are not created equal. Louisiana’s peach and Tiger’s Blood taste very different from those of West Texas. (I file that tidbit in my ever-growing cabinet of Things You Never Expected to Know.)
But alas and alack, finally I have come upon another spectacular flavor combination – this time through sheer perseverance and trial and error. I’m happy to share my research. Try a pineapple and pink lemonade snowcone. I wish the lemonade was a tad tarter, but on a hot day, it’s close to divine.
Some locals are devoted to particular snowcone stands. I don’t have a strong preference. I’ve found them all quite tasty.
See what you think — and I can’t wait to hear about your flavor recommendations.