Pop's Homemade Italian Ice

August 22, 2011 6:16:10 PM PDT
It's a culinary tradition that began in ancient Rome, when emperors mixed fresh snow and fresh fruit to create a cool summertime treat.

Today, it's a Philadelphia staple, and one South Philly institution has been making it the same way for almost 80 years.

For the Italiano family, making homemade water ice started with one man who immigrated from Naples. A man they affectionately call "Pop."

It was the summer of 1932 when Filippo Italiano, "Pop," started wheeling his frozen treats around South Philadelphia.

"He started with a cart that he had chopped ice on, right across in the park in Marconi Plaza," says Pop's grandson John. That's where he hand cranked two fresh fruit flavors, cherry and lemon, and sold them on his cart. They are STILL the best sellers, 79 years later.

Today Pop's grandchildren run the place. They expanded a little bit.

"It went from a little mom and popper to a bigger mom and popper," says John.

They also added some new flavors (there are more than 20 now!)

So what has kept people coming back for almost 80 years?

"Our product is consistent day in and day out," John says. "You are only as good as your last water ice."

Pop's Homemade Italian Ice
1337 Oregon Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19148

Load Comments