2022 Water Ice Tracker

For the uninitiated, Water Ice is a popular frozen treat here in Philly that is SO good and (I think ?) always vegan. People will try and tell you that it's basically Italian Ice but like, it's not. It's Water Ice. That name sounds oxymoronic but actually it's the perfect way to describe what you're consuming ! It's Water, It's Ice. There's also Flavor, and sometimes Fruit. These are all great things ! ☺

I grew up drinking eating Del's Lemonade in Rhode Island and in many ways it's the same sort of thing, though Del's tends to have thicker ice clusters that melt in your mouth in an happy drooly sort of way. I love that ! I love these treats. SO : I'm keeping track of every one I drink eat in 2022, and maybe you can find some inspiration or be reminded that it's a really good idea to work frozen delicacies into your life as soon as it gets warm.

NB: I've been thinking alot about what words I can use when describing these treats to make sure I honor the whole spectrum of textures that are available (from highly vicous to lightly solid !) I don't necessarily drink them, but to me eating requires chewing ? This is somewhere in between, and I'm not actually sure our language / culture is advanced enough to describe such a delicate situation. So I've decided to embrace the inherent ambiguity and use drinking (as in water) and eating (as in ice) simultaneously ☺

4/15 Mango John's Water Ice 5 Stars First of the year !! Drank / Ate after getting compost for my garden plot
4/22 Pistachio King's Water Ice 5 Stars INCREDIBLE green coloring, very unique flavor, will get again !!!
5/8 Lemon Del's Lemonade (Warren, RI) 5 Stars Absolutely legendary, iconic, please never change
5/10 Strawberry Lemon John's Water Ice 5 Stars Beautiful Combination ♥
5/18 Peach King's Water Ice 5 Stars So soft and gorgeous, plus the color had the same pumpkin-y tone of orange that was on my nails !
5/28 Lemon Lime John's Water Ice 5 Stars Honestly the lime was a little too harsh for me but I'd spent the whole morning working in the garden so it still went down so so so nice !
6/4 Rhubarb Pink Lemonade Weckerly's 5 Stars OK sorry if this is getting too abstract because technically this was "sorbet," buuuuut I was 100% drinking eating this thing so I feel OK blogging about it. It was soft and sweet and went down really nicely, I was very happy about my last minute impulse buy ♥
6/10 Cherry Rita's (sort of) 5 Stars There were funny buckets of water ice in the freezer at my day job so I TUCKED IN and had absolutely no regrets !! Rita's is not my fave because it's usually too sweet for me but it was such a nice surprise I didn't even notice !
6/14 Granny Apple Tranzilli's Water Ice 5 Stars Yummm my first time at this spot in Germantown and it was so ! fun ! I guess I'm a sucker for green flavors ? Because I immediately had to get the granny apple when I saw it, and it was sharp and nice and I can't wait to go back ! Extra points for being right next to Awbury Arboretum, too.
6/24 Chocolate Cherry John's Water Ice 5 Stars I've never ever messed with Chocolate flavors so thought it was time. I don't know ya'll ! It was buried under some cherry and I was loving that and then all of a sudden the chocolate hit and it felt like I was eating a popsicle in the 90's. Not really what I wanted ??? But I'll take it ??? And probably not mess with Chocolate again for a while !
7/10 Blueberry Fred's Water Ice 5 Stars I looooooooooooooove blueberry so much and I don't think I've ever had blueberry water ice so I jumped at the chance ! Fred's is on the sweeter, syrupy side, which isn't my favorite, but I really like the vibe there and always like stopping by. The blueberry was tart in a way that was unexpected ! Sort of maybe more like a blue raspberry jolly rancher ? There was a sour quality that I don't associate with blueberry, but the color was a nice deep blue and it made my tongue that same deep blue and I love that.
I can't stop thinking about the Swedish Fish water ice that Fred's has, and I wonder if I'll ever get it ??? It's scary to me in a sort of thrilling way. We'll see !
7/14 Strawberry Mango John's Water Ice 5 Stars UGH ! This is it right here, probably my favorite of the year so far. I've been having a very solitary summer and this day was no expection - I had the day off and spent the whole morning sort of lounging around and reading and napping. It was so hot out but I needed to water my children at the garden and it was good for me to get out of my house, so I ended up on a long rambling ride around South Philly that was so fun. I was just cruising and looking around at all the old sights and all the new sights and remembered that new book store Lot 49 was really close, so I bopped in there and used my store credit to get some Sam Delany and Kathy Acker books I didn't have. I was about to head back and realized like...oh I should probably do something cold to combat the fact that I've been biking in extreme heat for a couple hours. SO ! Off to John's I went, excited to order a new combination. The Strawberry at John's is so incredible because it has so many little strawberry seeds in it that really lend a layer of authenticity and a nice mouth texture. Blended in with the thick and cooling mango it created such a beautiful color and heavenly flavor. UGH !!! I gotta get this one again. ♥
7/23 Canteloupe Siddiq's Real Fruit Water Ice 5 Stars Siddiq's is my favorite place to go in Philly but a bunch of things always conspire against me going there regularly (I'm not often headed in that direction, closed on Sundays, closing at 8, etc.) and it was soooooooo nice to finally make it there !!!!!! Especially on the weird day I was having, strange brain mode and lots of solitary time drawing. I walked in and was immediately given a pretty large cup to sample their new slushies which were so ! good ! New Edition started blasting from speakers outside. It all just felt so right. I loaded up on Canteloupe water ice and headed over to Cobb's Creek and sat under a tree as the summer sun set. UGH ! Gorgeousness. The portions at Siddiq's are pretty large in a way that I love and the viscosity is definitely more on the "sorbet" side, like you're gonna need a spoon for a while. But the flavors are out of control good and Canteloupe is such an inspired idea. I loooooooooovvveeeddddd it ! Also Sarah was with me and we talked in depth about Holiday in The Sun, a Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen movie I haven't watched in at least 20 years but that she just rewatched. Like all MK and A movies the stuff that seemed totally normal as a kid are so wildly absurd now, I really highly recommend watching these movies !
7/31 Peach Mango Del's Lemonade (Warren, RI) 5 Stars My second trip to Del's this summer ! I went for a long walk on the beach with my mom and it just made too much sense to get Del's afterwards. Peach Mango is a new flavor as far as I'm concerned and it was so nice and soft. I often tend to just get Lemon or Watermelon because those seem like the "authentic" flavors in my brain (i.e. they've been around as long as I can remember) but sometimes it's really nice to try out one of the new kids in town. And the peach mango really didn't disappoint !!! I was excited, too, to see in the shop an instructional flyer that described Del's as a "beverage" and gave instructions on how to "drink" it. These are the word choices that keep me up at night !!! And it was really nice to see some official documentaion regarding this, though I'm still planning on saying eating drinking because I feel that is more accurate. As I was leaving the store I heard some lady saying "it's basically just Italian Ice" and wow it took a lot to control myself from exploding water ice theory all over her. Just for the record though : It's ! Not ! Italian ! Ice ! Italian ice is so hard and takes a wwwwhhiiiilllleeeee to soften up. Whereas Del's is drinkable from the get-go. Come ON people !
8/8 Strawberry Banana John's Water Ice 5 Stars I wanted to clear my head after therapy so I went for a long bike ride and decided I would get myself some takeout for dinner. OBVIOUSLY I was trying to locate my wants/needs and act on them, but quickly realized all I wanted was a soy chicken cheesesteak from Govinda's ?? A restaurant that doesn't exist anymore, but that in the before times I would go to like every couple months to satisfy my rare cheesesteak cravings. I liked theirs because it was soy chicken and not seitan (seitan cheeseteak is WAY too much gluten !!) and it was just greasy and satisfying in exactly the way I want. But....I couldn't get it. Then I was biking down Pine street and spiraling about all the places I used to eat at all the time that no longer exist !!! Living in a city for a while is tragic in that way. I decided I would just get a thing of vegan sushi at Essene (and shed a single tear for their sorely missed buffet) but they were all out and I was super hungry so I just got a stupid cold black bean burrito thing. To cheer myself up I bopped over to John's and got Strawberry Banana water ice which is an unreal visceral tactile combo of flavors. The strawberry seeds and the thickness of frozen bananas...OMG ! I'd never ever seen banana water ice at John's before so I'm not sure how often this is available but please please please make sure you get it if you see it !!!
9/15 Pistachio King's Water Ice 5 Stars For whatever reason I ended up eating a ton of ice cream in August and a lot less water ice. Maybe once the dog days hit I just want something with a little more body ? Mostly I think it's just that the life choices I was making were leading me to come into contact with a lot of ice cream, which I guess I'm not necessarily complaining about. It's just that when I eat like a little ice cream I really can't handle anything else that's sweet for a while, it's a lot for me ! So I sort of fell off the water ice train for a bit but that's OK. I'm just living my life !
It felt appropriate, as the season was ending, to get Pistachio again. To taste the flavor again, to green my tongue again, and think of all I've learned and done over the warm months. It felt great !! King's is especially sweet because it's right across the street from Fairmount Park and there are a couple weirdo clandestine picnic tables that you can sit at and listen to bugs and birds and eat your pretzel and drink eat your water ice. It's perfect, TBH. This time felt a little bittersweet in a way, though, because it's the first time all year that after finishing my water ice I felt cold. A first major indicator of the changing seasons and dropping temperatures ! Which obviously I love and accept, but the temperature has been so perfect lately that I just want to linger and bask...not be remindinded of how cold I'll be in a couple months......