Perry, the voice behind New York Street Food, brings you his latest review on New York City food trucks.
There are many ways to cool off during a hot city summer, and here’s another one: An Icy Introduction, a stand selling Caribbean-style SnoBalls, SnoCreams and Slushes.
The proprietor, Kafi Dublin, comes to us from the island of St. Vincent, and she told me that shaved ice is very popular all around the Caribbean. That makes perfect sense in such a warm climate.
So what exactly are SnoBalls and SnoCreams? I think we already know what Slushes are.
A SnoBall is shaved ice drenched with syrup, and topped with items such as sweet condensed milk, tres leches sauce, white chocolate sauce, peanut butter sauce or caramel sauce.
At An Icy Introduction, the syrups have a thick consistency that clings to the shaved snow, as opposed to simply flowing through to the bottom of the cup. Kafi says the syrups are made with a blend of Muscovado sugar (unprocessed cane sugar from the Caribbean) and Castor sugar.
More: NYC’s 8 Best Milkshakes
As for flavors, An Icy Introduction currently has over 80 flavors including sugar-free, Signature Caribbean and custom blended specialty flavors. You can see the list of flavors here.
In addition to SnoBalls, the stand also offers SnoCreams and Slushes. A SnoCream is similar in consistency to ice cream. The fluffy shaved iced is blended with sweetened condensed milk into a creamy texture, then topped off with a flavored syrup.
The list of flavors and choices can be a bit overwhelming at first. Kafi asked me to tell people not to be afraid to ask for samples. As she said, who knows, the “Dirty Girl Scout” or “Tiger’s Blood” might be your favorite one. You won’t know unless you try.
The SnoBalls are $4 for a 12 oz cup, $5 for 16 oz and $6 for a 20 oz cup, and you can get two flavors in one cup. SnoCreams are $1 extra and toppings are $.50 each. The full menu is here. To make it easier to eat, the treats are served with both a straw and a long spoon.
I had blueberry and cherry with condensed milk topping (photo top) and my wife had lemon-lime and cherry (photo bottom). The small size was plenty big for both of us.
First Kafi puts ice into a machine that makes it into the desired consistency. Then it’s put into a cup and she puts on the chosen syrup(s). After that, your choice of toppings are added.
The flavors were exactly what they sound like. Cherry was probably the sweetest, but it wasn’t too sweet. Blueberry was a little deeper and richer. Lemon-lime was sweet and tart.
The condensed milk added another dimension to this dessert, with a thick, sweet creaminess that sat on top of the ice.
The tiny stand is located outside 345 Lafayette St, just a few steps north of Bleecker St. Their hours are from noon to 10pm, except Fri-Sat, when they are open until midnight.
Kafi told me she might move the stand one avenue over to Bowery, but wasn’t sure yet. If she does, the new location should be on her website.