NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The iconic Italian ices at the Lemon Ice King of Corona have a secret ingredient: New York City water.
Should you try to replicate the flavor somewhere else, “it wouldn’t taste the same,” co-owner Michael Zampino told CBS2’s Elle McLogan.
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Since the shop opened in 1944, the signature recipe has remained largely unchanged.
“If it’s not broke, don’t fix it,” he said.
“This was my first job as a kid,” he said. “Peter Benfaremo, the original owner, he took care of me. Thirty-five years later, I’m still here.”
“Second-, third-generation, a lot of them say, ‘Oh, my father used to take me here. My grandfather used to take me here.’ And now, they’re coming with their kids.”
“We have about 50-some-odd flavors now,” he said.
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While the namesake lemon ice is the top seller, standout flavors include cherry and peanut butter.
“A lot of people’s first reaction [is], ‘Ew! Peanut butter?’ And then, they try it, and they’re like, ‘Mmm, it’s good.'”
The retro shop, which opened under the name Benfaremo, earned its regal nickname from a satisfied customer.
“Somebody screamed out, ‘You’re the lemon ice king!’ And it stuck, and the rest is history.”
Benfaremo – The Lemon Ice King of Corona
52-02 108th Street
Corona, NY 11368
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