Philadelphia, PA Edition: John's Water Ice

By Candace Nelson - 6:35 PM

Johns Water IceWater ice, or Italian ice, is a Philadelphia dessert specialty. 
Today's Italian ice, also known as water ice (particularly in Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley), is a sweetened frozen dessert made with fruit (often from concentrates, juices or purées) or other natural or artificial food flavorings, similar to sorbet.[1][2] Italian ice is not shaved ice that is flavored; rather, it is made by the same process by which ice cream is made: freezing the ingredients while mixing them. Italian ice is similar to sorbet but differs from American-style sherbet in that it does not contain dairy or egg ingredients, though it may contain egg white.[1]Common flavors include blue raspberry, cherry, lemon, mango, orange, strawberry, and watermelon, with numerous other flavors available. It is believed to be derived from the Sicilian granita,[3] a related dessert which may have been brought by immigrants to the United States. Authentic Italian ice contains no pieces of fruit: smooth tiny grains of flavored ice, lemon being the quintessential flavor.
Johns Water IceJohn's Water Ice is one of the iconic shops for it, so Kaitlynn and I took a stroll to get out hands on some. This cash-only shop is window service only, and on a hot summer day, it was certainly busy.f

At first, I thought this was going to be a snow cone, and while it's similar, the flavoring is actually within the ice and not added afterward. It's also much smoother. I went with a cherry flavor, which was pretty good. Because it was so hot, the thing just practically melted apart as I was holding it - red going all over my hands. BUT, the flavor? Way better than a snow cone. And a good way to cool off, too.

Johns Water IceGrade: B
John's Water Ice Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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