Happy First Day of Spring @ Rita’s Ice !
Today, one of my work colleagues, told me about Rita’s offering free Italian Ice to customers. I had no idea what Rita’s was so I searched it up and saw that it’s their 25th annual First Day of Spring Celebration!
They offer a ton of Italian Ice flavours which change every day – ranging from Mango (customer favourite and what I got) to Jolly Rancher Watermelon to Sour Patch Kids! They also sell Frozen Custard and Gelati which is frozen custard on the bottom, with a layer of Italian Ice in the middle and a swirl of frozen custard on the top!
It was started in 1984 by a former Philadelphia firefighter who started selling flavoured ice during one hot summer from his front porch. He subsequently opened a store under his wife’s name, Rita, selling Italian Ice often mixed with chunks of fresh fruit. The store is basically famous in Philadelphia and now they’ve expanded to over 100 outlets in 9 states.
Literally every person who I asked about Rita’s, becomes ecstatic and their eyes immediately light up just talking about their favourite ice flavour. The lady behind me in line started talking to me about how long I was waiting for and then she started asking me where I was from – I told her Canada and that it’s my first time trying Rita’s. She was proud as a Philadelphian to have been attending their first day of Spring celebration for the last 5 years. She explained to me that they have different daily flavours so I asked her what she recommends, without hesitation she said “definitely Mango!” The three younger girls in front of me overheard and added to her comment – they told me to get the Gelati- especially vanilla flavour since it’s “simply the best”.
After waiting in line for about 25 minutes, I took the locals advice and got a Mango Gelati. I have to say – their ice is very smooth. I was a bit hesitant, thinking that it would taste artificial or have too much sugar, but I was happily taken by surprise. It was delicious and even the gelati was like a yummier version of thick whipped cream. Yum!!! I can’t wait to go back on a hot summer’s day to try another flavour of Italian Ice!