An Italian ice experience

·3 min read

Lately, the weather has been indecisive.

In the morning, the weather is scorching hot, then an hour or hours after the rain starts pouring. But no matter what the weather is, an icy treat—it may be ice cream, gelato, bingsu, frozen fruit shake—is always a good idea after a long day.

There’s something about that literally melt-in-your-mouth and delightfully cool sweet treat that takes away the sadness and tiredness one feels. It’s like it brings you back to the time when the solution to every problem is a sweet treat—nostalgic.

Speaking of nostalgia and icy treats, there’s a new dessert that everyone—young, old and young at heart—would surely love, this Italian ice from a local brand, Ice Monkees.

If you’re not familiar with Italian ice, it is a frozen sweetened treat made with fruit or other natural food flavorings. It is similar to sorbet but differs from American-style sherbet because it does not contain dairy or egg ingredients.

“It is like a cross between the Philippines’ snow cone and ice candy,” according to its founder Wiggy Colmenares during a press conference at Cafe Sarree.

The name “Italian Ice” was inspired by the immigrants from Italy that started this treat, though it is said to have originated in Philadelphia and the South Jersey Area. And just like how this Italian Ice came to be, Ice Monkees was born out of inspiration and on the streets of New York. After trying this flavorful icy treat, the owner fell in love, which he said “brought back some good old childhood memories,” the first time he tasted it. And that was when he decided to bring it home to Cebu.

Though Cebu has lots of home- based vendors selling snow cones, what makes Ice Monkees’ Italian ice unique is its variety of mouth-watering fruity collection that will surely satisfy one’s sweet cravings and quench one’s thirst as its products are refreshing. Flavors to choose from include cotton candy, sour apple, blue raspberry, orange, lemon, cherry and pineapple. It even allows its customers to order two or more flavors in one order or blend different flavors. Plus, it has different fun cup sizes: Mini Tarsier (small), Medium Chimp (medium), and Monster Gorilla (large).

Ice Monkees also boasts of its customer experience as it does not only do the usual choose your size and flavors-pay-and-get your order system. It has its own system so one can take pleasure in the whole Ice Monkees experience. First, pay and choose your cup size. The attendant will then give you a sticker sheet that contains the flavor choices and your cup of choice. Stick your chosen flavors into your cup. Take note that if you choose a different flavor per scoop, you need to stick the stickers far from each other. And if you want multi-colored scoops, just stick your stickers beside each other. Last, enjoy your icy treats and its color-changing spoon.

As of now, Ice Monkees’ pop-up store is located in Escario Central Mall and is open daily from 2 to 10 p.m. Soon, the monkeys will be all over the major malls in Cebu.

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