Snowdays is a unique shaved cream shop with five locations throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens. Shaved cream is a twist on shaved ice, which is a dessert made of thinly shaven and then flavored ice.
In the US, shaved ice is often just topped with a flavored syrup, making it a pretty lame, sweet dessert. In some Asian countries, most notably Taiwan and Korea, though, they take shaved ice to a whole new level. They pay a lot of attention to the texture of the ice, making it extremely fluffy instead of watery shards. They also often use milk ice, instead of water ice, giving it a creamier, richer taste. And the toppings consist of way more than just syrup – they are substantial and plentiful, using things like fruit, tapioca, rice pudding, and chocolate.
Snowdays takes the traditional Asian shaved ices to the next level, creating shaved cream. Instead of using water ice or milk ice, they use ice cream, and shave it down to the same texture as the traditional shaved desserts. It’s super fluffy and very light compared to ice cream (even compared to soft-serve ice cream), and almost evaporates the second you put it in your mouth.
They have about ten flavors of shaved cream and it’s eaten pretty much the same way ice cream or frozen yogurt is. It’s served in a cup or a cone and finished with toppings. They have all the standard flavors, but their signature is “yetitracks,” which is essentially a cookies and cream. Except, it’s blue. Why it’s blue, I have no idea. Whimsy, I guess, but I’m not a fan of the color. It has no taste, but looks off-putting. Nonetheless, that’s what we tried given it’s their signature.
One topping and one drizzle is included, so we opted for mini marshmallows and condensed milk.
And the final product was good, but was really more of a fun, one-off novelty. It’s not that Snowdays is bad quality, per se, though no one really has much way of judging given that they are singular in their product. It’s really just not clear what the whole point of shaved cream is in the first place.
The best part of ice cream is its creamy, rich, soft texture. To turn ice cream into watery, evaporating, insubstantial fluff is odd. Even if you ate several bowls of this, you’d feel empty because you’re essentially eating puffed air. I mean, it certainly tastes better than shaved ice (because how on earth can water ice compete with ice cream?), but shaved ice is not an alternative for ice cream. Nonetheless, it’s a novel concept and if you’re in the mood for something sweet that doesn’t make you full, then I guess this would be right up your alley!