On the face of it, the name seems redundant: Isn’t “water” another form of “ice”? Not when you put the words together. This is no sno-cone, no mess of ice chips doused in sour syrup. This is smooth, slushy water ice—the pride of South Philly, made from real fruit, like tangy cherries or make-you-pucker lemons. (As for chocolate water ice: sacrilege.) It’s been our 90-degree-day treat of choice for 60-plus years, thanks to Italians like John Cardullo, founder of John’s Water Ice at 7th and Christian, who brought his recipe over from the old country and set up shop in the ’40s, long before Rita came along. And like generations before you, you’ll devour it too quickly, and suffer brain-freeze as you stand on a crowded South Philly sidewalk, on a summer night as delicious as what you’re slurping from your crumpled paper cup. —Jessica Remo
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