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.
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.
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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