Saying goodbye to summer, let's take a visit to the The Lemon Ice King of Corona.
But first, why is Danny "Shake Shack" Meyer going to be serving up treats at the new Mets stadium (I can hardly utter "Citi[bank] Field") instead of a local Queens legend like Pete Benfaremo? The stadium is said to be negotiating with notable locals, reports Gothamist, and they vote for Benfaremo too. Someone start a petition.
Enough about the stadium's luxury Sterling options, it doesn't get more artisanal, in the true sense of the word (made by a skilled manual worker), than Benfaremo's Italian ice. Since 1944, on days sunny or snowy, they've been serving ices the old-fashioned way. The city has changed quite a bit since then, and Benfaremo's has evolved along with it, without losing its classic touch.
In a short interview on WNYC, on the occasion of his induction into the City Lore Peoples Hall of Fame, Mr. Benfaremo explains why he has a rule against mixing flavors. It has to do with their use of a special shovel, rather than a scooper (Bakerina has a shot).
He also recalls that when the neighborhood was predominantly Italian and Jewish, the most popular flavors were the citruses, like lemon and orange. With a larger Latino population, they expanded into tropicals, like pina colada and mango. Now they have over 35 flavors. Who said all change to the city is bad?