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What’s the Difference Between Sno Cones and Shaved Ice?

Bluebear Ice shaver machine

At Miracle Strip Popcorn and Concession Supply, we offer professional quality concession equipment for sale and rent in the Florida Panhandle area. If you look at our website, you’ll find that we offer both sno cones and shaved ice. However, most people don’t even know of the difference between the two. While we’ve touched on this topic in the past, we thought it would be worth repeating. Because to us, the distinction is an important and interesting one.

  • Sno cones are made using specialized sno cone machines, which work by crushing ice cubes into very small pellets. On the other hand, shaved ice is made using either a cubed ice shaver or a block ice shaver. Unlike sno cones, shaved ice isn’t crunchy.
  • With sno cones, when syrupy flavor is added to the ice, it often ends up running through the ice to the bottom of the cone-shaped cup—most of us can remember this from our childhood, slurping up the liquid after enjoying the treat. Shaved ice is different, as flavor tends to spread more evenly throughout the ice.
  • Sno cones typically come in one or two sizes, and generally you’ll see them in a six ounce cone-shaped cup, with the ice being rounded on top of the cone. You can easily slurp it with your tongue like you’d lick an ice cream cone. Shaved ice is served in various sizes of foam, paper or squat cups. While also generally rounded at the top, it typically requires a spoon-straw in order to eat it.
  • One of the major differences between sno-cones and shaved ice is the number of flavors available. Sno cones, which you generally find at county fairs and carnivals, come in two to five flavors like grape, cherry and orange. Shaved ice, on the other hand, typically comes in many more flavors.
  • Sno cones are traditionally quicker and easier to prepare. Shaved ice is made to order—it can’t be shaved in advance.

Miracle Strip Popcorn carries both sno cone and shaved ice machines for rent and for sale in the Florida panhandle area. Visit our website for more information, and give us a call to add either tasty treat to your next event. There’s one thing that sno cones and shaved ice will always have in common: They both do a great job of cooling down happy mouths from the Florida heat.

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