Wendy and I were both craving good Chinese food last week, so we met up on Sunday for a dim sum lunch at Jing Fong.  It was delicious, as always, but we needed a little sweet treat to close out the meal.  I have heard people talk about Ralph’s Italian Ices since I moved to New York, but it was never available in the city, so I didn’t pay much attention.  Apparently Ralph’s is now an NYC thing because there is a little window – open only during summer months – on 24th and Lex.
When she realized I had never tried Ralph’s Famous Italian Ices, Wendy started raving about it (I get that reaction from a lot of Long Islanders).  She actually worked there and could name most of the flavors so it didn’t take much to persuade me to go on a hot summer day.  I admit I was confused by the menu – Water ice? Cream ice?  Those sound like oxymorons to me.  Whatever you want to call it, it was one of the most refreshing things I had in a while.  $3 got me two scoops and I chose to go the fruity route (watermelon and cotton candy) because I thought it would cool me down best.  If you’re not a fruity person, don’t worry, they have created every dessert known to man in ice form.  Think strawberry cheesecake, connoli, and peanut butter candy bar.
Now that I’ve tried Ralph’s, I sorta get the buzz.  It’s like snow!  Fluffy, flavored, cold stuff that is the exact texture of fresh snow.  As opposed to snow cones, which are too ice-y to be called snow?  Since the heat has finally arrived in New York, it’s nice to have a cheap, sweet way to cool down.  I maintain ices are Italians’ greatest contribution to summer.