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Types of Snow Cones

Snow cones are a beloved summer indulgence for people of every age. With their vibrant hues and irresistible sweet, refreshing taste, they are sure to entice impulse purchases. Whether you're considering launching a snow cone business or wanting to elevate the frozen treat selection at your ice cream parlor, our detailed guide will walk you through the differences between snow cones and shaved ice, along with the necessary equipment and supplies needed to serve them.

Snow Cones vs Shaved Ice

Snow cones are made with larger granules of ice than shaved ice, which results in a crunchy, flaky texture of ice. Shaved ice, also commonly referred to as Hawaiian ice, is made with fine granules for a soft, fluffy texture that is more comparable to snow. Both are made using flavored syrup to complete the dessert.

Snow cones are typically served in 6 oz. conical-shaped paper cone cups and shaved ice is typically served in a paper or foam cup with a spoon, similar to ice cream.

Snow Cones vs. Shaved Ice

Types of Commercial Snow Cone Machines

Snow cone machines and ice shavers are the two main types of equipment used to make snow cones and shaved ice. When selecting a commercial snow cone machine for your business, consider the volume of snow cones or shaved ice you plan to serve, space limitations, and ease of operation to choose the best option for your specific needs.

Restaurant Equipment

Snow Cone Machines

Snow cone machines typically feature a blade that shaves ice into a fine, fluffy texture, perfect for creating the classic snow cone consistency.

  • High-output, heavy-duty motors that crush large amounts of ice per day
  • Include ergonomic handles to help push ice through the hopper
  • Storage below the unit to keep ice ready to serve and visible to customers
  • Easy to operate and store
  • Designed especially for ice cones with coarse ice texture
Restaurant Equipment

Ice Shavers

Ice shavers come as cube or block shavers. Cube ice shavers are designed to quickly and efficiently shave standard ice cubes into fluffy snow cone ice. Block ice shavers are often equipped with powerful motors and durable blades to handle the dense nature of block ice.

  • Multi-functioning machines with adjustable shave settings
  • Can be used for snow cones, shaved ice, cocktails, and other popular ice desserts
  • Perfect for high-volume service with multiple menu options
  • Some units include foot pedals for hands-free operation during busy hours
Restaurant Equipment

Ice Texture Scale

Discover the range of ice consistencies with our texture scale, which spans from one to ten and varies based on the type of ice machine you choose. From starting at one with ice chips to achieving a snow-like texture at ten, use this scale to select the ideal machine for creating your desired ice dessert.

Snow cone machines are perfect for harder, chipped ice to flaked and crystallized ice, while cube shavers and block shavers are ideal for creating smooth, fluffy snow-like shaved ice.

Cube shavers utilize cubbed or bagged ice while block shavers utilize block ice. Block ice shavers produce uniquely soft ice with a superior texture and are ideal for businesses that require a higher output of shaved ice. These machines are capable of processing large blocks of ice, resulting in a greater quantity of shaved ice in a shorter amount of time.

Types of Shaved Ice

If you're purchasing an ice shaver, consider adding a range of regional shaved ice treats to your menu. Explore the various types of shaved ice desserts from different cultures and enhance your selection to provide a diverse culinary experience!

shaved ice topped with boba
  1. Kakigori: Kakigori is a Japanese shaved ice dessert that is traditionally made using a hand-cranked block ice shaver. High-quality ice is key to this dish, so blocks of tempered mineral or spring water are frequently used to achieve a crisp, fresh taste. While comparable to Hawaiian ice, kakigori is much softer and snow-like. Top with flavored syrups and condensed milk to complete the dish.

  2. Bingsu: Bingsu is the Korean variety of shaved ice desserts. Unlike other shaved ice types, bingsu is characterized by its inclusion of red beans, sometimes called pat-bingsu. Red bean paste is a popular topping in Korean desserts, adding a slightly sweet and natural taste to the dish. Chopped fruit, fruit-flavored syrups, and condensed milk are other common toppings.

  3. Baobing: Baobing is the shaved ice dessert found in China and Taiwan, with the Taiwanese name being tsuabing. Baobing is served in large portions with an ice texture similar to snow cones. Frequently, the ice is shaved from pre-flavored blocks. Common toppings include sugar water, tapioca or boba, sliced fruit, and even mung beans. Like many other shaved ice varieties, condensed milk is often incorporated for a creamier texture.

  4. Mexican Shaved Ice (Raspado): Mexican Shaved Ice, or raspado, is a popular street dessert in Mexico like the popular mangonada. Raspado means "scraped", alluding to the shaved ice texture and how it is created. Raspado is often created by hand-scraping the ice with a tool called a raspador. Raspado is served in cups with your choice of toppings and a straw to help you reach all the melted ice and syrup on a hot day. Common toppings include fresh fruit, ice cream, or chili powder for a little spice.

  5. Halo-Halo: Halo-halo is a popular shaved ice dessert that originates from the Philippines. The name "halo-halo" translates to "mix-mix" in Tagalog, which perfectly describes the essence of this delightful treat. This traditional dessert features finely shaved ice that is topped with a colorful array of ingredients and a scoop of ube ice cream, creating a refreshing and vibrant dessert experience.

Essential Snow Cone Supplies

When it comes to creating delicious snow cones and shaved ice, having the right supplies on hand is essential for a successful operation. From flavorful syrups to convenient cups and serving accessories, here are some key supplies you'll need to elevate your offerings.

snow cone supplies
  • Snow Cone Syrups: The key ingredient for creating delicious snow cones, snow cone syrups come in a variety of flavors to cater to different preferences. Look for high-quality syrups that are easy to pour or pump and offer a bold, flavorful taste.
  • Snow Ice Powders: Snow ice powders take the guesswork out of creating snow ice. Simply combine the pre-flavored mixes with sugar and milk, then add the mixture to your snow ice machine to create delicious shaved snow ice.
  • Snow Cone Cups: Durable and leak-resistant snow cone cups are essential for serving up these icy treats. Choose cups that are the right size for your snow cone machine and can hold a generous portion of crushed ice and syrup.
  • Vending Carts: For mobile snow cone businesses or events, investing in a vending cart can help you easily transport your equipment and supplies. Look for carts with ample storage space for syrups, cups, and other essentials.
  • Spoon Straws: These unique straws are designed with a spoon-like end, making it easy for customers to scoop up the remaining syrup at the bottom of their snow cones or shaved ice. Stock up on spoon straws to enhance the experience for your customers.
  • Ice Transport Supplies: Properly storing and transporting ice is crucial for maintaining the quality of your snow cones. Consider investing in ice transport supplies such as ice scoops, buckets, and insulated containers to keep your ice fresh and ready to use.
  • Toppings: Elevate your shaved offerings with a variety of toppings such as marshmallow cream, toasted coconut, or fruit slices. Toppings add an extra layer of flavor and visual appeal to your shaved ice, enticing customers to try new combinations.
The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. Please refer to our Content Policy for more details.

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