Cooling basics: ice and sugar 

It's the wallflower of frozen treats: the humble snow cone. Outflashed by frozen-yogurt chains and the rising popularity of fancier ices, it doesn't get enough respect. But snow cones might just be the original fat-free frozen snack.

The recipe is simple: shaved ice and a shot of flavored dextrose -- but that's enough, if done right. And business is never more brisk than in August at Rainbow Sno-Cones (3116 Corrine Drive, 896-9105), almost in its 10th year as a humble walk-up stand.

There are 55 flavors, from "polar punch" (light blue raspberry) to the "Bahama mama" (coconut, rum, orange and pineapple). New arrivals include pink champagne and "tiger's blood" (strawberry and coconut). Taste testing is encouraged. From 90 cents to $2, these snow cones offer cheap relief from the dog days of summer.

Speaking of On The Side


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