Special: Fresh Flavored Snow

12 Apr

Fresh snow! Flavored!!!

Many ask me:

How was ice cream invented?

I start by gesturing mountains with wide arm swoops, then I reach high above my head with my right hand.

Historians say that the Roman Emperor Nero sent his servants high in the mountains to retrieve fresh snow. Then they ran down to serve His Majesty the cold results, flavored with fruit or wine.


As we headed to the snowy mountains this winter, I decided to be Emperor Nero. At least in eating snow. This time, retrieved with car. And with my own resources of a spoon and bowl.

Without wine and fruit at my disposal, I found an alternative. On the night in Tahoe, three hours northeast of San Francisco, I found myself in grocery store buying a can of condensed milk. Now, buying a can opener would make complete sense.

Yet my usual stinginess declared You can find a can opener on your own! Don’t even think of buying a $4 can opener. You have two at home!


In the morning, we drove from restaurant to restaurant trying to borrow a can opener. Of course in modern times, restaurants don’t use can openers (bags save space and easily tear open). Finally landing at drugstore, a sympathetic cashier offered the can openers at the cashier where we quickly pierced the top without its contents.


Later in the afternoon, I ran to a snow bank, dug to find untouched snow, hand-scooped it into a bowl, and doused the whole thing with condensed milk. Sweet, creamy, sticky, cold, smooth yet not quite smooth, like ice cream, but not ice cream. Standing outside of the resort where I had spent 5 hours skiing, I took a plastic (compostable) spoon, and mixed the milk and snow together. Each spoonful was a milky sweet cold delight, especially in the bright sunny day in the mountains.


Did I follow Emperor Nero’s footsteps? I felt quite royal as I sat in the passenger seat of a 30 minute line of cars inching to exit the long road.




Fresh clean snow, lots of it (recommended to catch during a snowfall than to dug it from the ground)
One can of condensed milk
Optional: additional flavoring such as vanilla extract, fruit, jam, etc.


Scoop the snow into a bowl. Pour the entire contents of the condensed milk and optionally flavor over it. Mix gently to incorporate flavors. Eat quickly before the snow melts (although the melted liquid is quite tasty).


One Response to “Special: Fresh Flavored Snow”

  1. jen 24 March, 2014 at 8:24 pm #

    this is an old family recipe of ours… and quite common in the southeastern part of the US, oddly enough. snow ice cream! it’s easily my favorite food ever. here’s an old blog post i did about it: http://paintcutpaste.com/snow-ice-cream/

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