We’re deep in sweltering summertime, with sunscreen, beaches, sand and Ol’ Sol and something hella cold to go with it all. Cue Snowgenix, a Taiwanese ice cream shop in a little strip mall on
Old Baymeadows Road.
The menu tells of Snowboxes (aka sundaes), regular shaved snow (no toppings), Cha-Slushies and specialty items like Bubble Tea and Dragon’s Breath ($6.50), which are giant fruity cereal puffs frozen with nitrogen–SO fun, because you do feel like a fire-breathing dragon (the taste isn’t super-great) as you consume these. According to the staff, the menu changes frequently, so the possibilities here are endless!
Xue Hua Bing is described as ‘fluffy ice cream.’ Its texture is different from a usual summertime scoop. Snowgenix makes each cup to order–I was fascinated by the whole process. It starts with a giant block of frozen ice-cream base, like coffee or cheesecake, put in a spinning contraption. Then, a device that looks like a veggie peeler-type thingy expertly shaves off long, paper-thin ribbons of ‘ice cream’ or, as the Snowgenix folks call it, snow. The ribbons are then layered in a bowl, giving the dish a light, airy bite.
When this heaping bowl of snow ribbons is handed over, it’s your turn to create! There are many specialty sundaes (one size, $7.79), like Chocolate Monster–a chocolate snow base with Oreo crumbles, chocolate syrup and chocolate chips–or The Unicorn–cotton-candy base with marshmallow and cotton-candy crunch and condensed cream. Heavy, heavy fuel. Want to lighten up? The Paradise is strawberry snow, fresh strawberries, fruity cereal puffs and sweetened condensed milk. Each bowl is a work of art. Most sundaes include a plastic syringe filled with various goodies: chocolate syrup, strawberry syrup, sweetened condensed milk. Drizzle syrups on top or inject in the base.
Yes, you can have a regular shaved snow–small, $5.25; large $6.25; extra-large $8.88. Add a buck for one additional flavor. Pile on toppings and syrups at 75¢ a pop. Your choices of fruit shaved snow (dairy-free) are refreshing saves for this summer heat wave: honeydew, mango, lychee, watermelon and pink lemonade are available now. To some, honeydews are the least of all the melons, but at Snowgenix, they reign supreme! One bite of the light, airy honeydew snow will energize you.
And last but so not least: Snow-Na-Da or, as I call it, A Cup O’ Magic. Mango snow is layered with freshly diced mango, sprinkled with a healthy shake of chamoy “hot” sauce and topped with a tamarind straw. Many cultures add spicy elements to fresh papaya, mango, pineapple and others, so let’s get with it! The sweetened tamarind paste is dipped in a little extra spice and formed around the plastic straw (to get at it, take a bite from the side). This spicy, sweet, refreshing, clean choice is a masterpiece, a point of pride at Snowgenix.
If you have a recommendation, shoot me an email at email@example.com.