Ice Shaver

In the summer time, when the weather is swelteringly hot and everyone hits the street to go to the ball park, the amusement park or the carnival, there is generally only one thing on their minds – having fun while beating the heat. Luckily, for many years there has been a tasty treat that helps people do both – the shaved ice Snow Cone. Snow Cones are tasty treats made from ice run through an ice shaver machine and sweet, brightly colored syrup. If you are out and about on a hot summer day, chances are you will see at least one or two people eating one of this rainbow colored sweet treats.

Snow cones and the ice shaver machines that produce them are such a ubiquitous part of summer time that few people ever question the history behind them. But the history of ice shaver machines is a long and interesting one, and one that eventually led to the brightly colored and sweet snow cones we came to love today. But where did ice shaver machines get their start and why have we had such a long love affair with snow cones, snow balls, shaved ice or whatever you want to call these summer time delicacies?

Believe it or not, shaved ice treats are an ancient invention. Japanese literature from as early as the year 794 mentions treats made from shaved ice. Of course, this early on, there were no electric ice shaver machines around to do all the hard work. In Japan, shaved ice treats were made by hand with a device designed to carve ice. Perhaps it is not surprise then that the first ice shaver machine was patented in Japan in 1887 by a man who went by the last name of Murakami.

People in the United States began their love affair with brightly colored shaved ice treats in 1919 when a man named Samual Bert, of Dallas, Texas, sold the first shaved ice treats at the Texas State Fair. Realizing that these tasty treats were a summer time hit, Bert invented his own ice shaver machine he called a “snow-cone making machine” in order to make his vending job a little easier. Bert’s machines and his treats were such a success that he continued to sell the machines, and the treats at the Texas State Fair, until he died in the year 1984.

The next innovation in ice shaver machines came to us in Texas’ next door neighbor state, Louisiana. An inventor named Ernest Hansen designed a device he called an “ice block shaver” there in New Orleans in the year 1919. The reasoning behind his ice shaving machine invention? He had noticed that some vendors sold a very popular concoction called Italian ice in push carts around the city. New Orleans being the muggy and hot city that it is, it’s no wonder Big Easy residents were clamoring for a cold and tasty dessert. Hansen wanted to cash in on this craze, but do it better. He considered his ice shaver machine more refined and hygienic than the Italian ices sold out of push carts. To top his creation off, he had his wife concoct him some flavored fresh syrups to make the shaved ice treats uniquely delicious.

Now days if you want a shaved ice treat, the best place to go to find a working ice shaver machine is a stadium, amusement park, or state fair. Sometimes even hailing a passing ice cream truck will score you one of these cold and syrupy treats. If you are a real shaved ice fanatic, you can even purchase your own ice shaver machine and have your snack whenever you feel like it.

This Ice Shaver Review is Written/Updated on Oct 22nd, 2009 and filed under Kitchen Appliances. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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