Italian Ice, Polish Water Ice, Shaved Ice, and Snow Cones are a great way to beat the Summer heat at the Jersey Shore.
Ices are also a great alternative to thick and rich ice cream, which let’s face it, can be a bit much on a really hot and humid day. In fact, my family are big fans of the Gelatis, such as the ones served at Rita’s and Ralph’s.
However this list is not about the custard/ice connection of gelatis, nor is it about much beloved large chain places like Rita’s and Ralph’s. It’s local. Jersey Shore local.
Some places on our list have be staples of the community for decades, while others are in fact, new to the scene. Meanwhile, they all do an amazing in-season business year after year.
Take for example Strollo’s, a Jersey Shore favorite since the 1930’s. They have quietly expanded over nearly 100 years to five Monmouth County locations, but no more. Keeping the local feel is important to them.
Not to disparage Rita’s or Ralph’s, but to put them on the list would not be fair to the mom-and-pop shop we wish to highlight here. They sure are good though, and both have a place in our hearts and bellies!
You can find your local water ice from Northern Monmouth down to LBI!
Moreover, as far as Italian Ice and Polish Water Ice go, they’re local roots are traced back to Philadelphia. According to Wikipedia, finely granulated flavored ice of Italian immigrant origin is instead commonly referred to and sold as water ice by residents and natives of Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley.
Water ice is almost identical to Italian ice. It is similarly derived from granita brought to the Philadelphia area by Italian immigrants in the early 20th century. Meanwhile this “water ice” has also been described as a specific type of Italian ice originating in Philadelphia or a “variation on the more broadly-accepted Italian ice.” Wow, that’s a lot of history from some syrup and frozen water!
So whatever variation you like. Whichever name they call it. Wherever you like to go to enjoy it. Raise a paper cup to flavored water ice, cause it’s so damn cool.
Here are some of my favorite ice places, what are yours?