Posted by: Debbie Abrams Kaplan | April 6, 2010

Water Ice anyone?

We always say that when you move to New Jersey, you should get a vocabulary guide (among other things – but that will be a different post).

With spring here (out in force – this week is in the high 70s and gorgeous), so is the ice cream truck. And the Italian Ice truck. I hadn’t seen one of those until we moved to New Jersey. The song it plays is just the same as the ice cream truck, but they sell Italian Ices. They also usually skip our block.

If you hear someone ask for a “water ice,” that means they want an Italian Ice. To me it sounds like someone saying “dirt mud.” It’s different states of the same thing. They also have a good stock of them in the grocery store – which I never saw in California.

People also order “ice pops” which totally baffles our family. To the uninitiated, it’s the generic term for popsicle. Here’s the Wikipedia definition of an ice pop: “frozen water-based dessert on a stick. It is made by freezing coloured, flavoured liquid (such as fruit juice) around a stick…In the United States and Canada it is almost always called a popsicle due to the early popularity of the Popsicle brand, and the word has become a genericized trade mark to mean any ice pop or frozen treat, irrespective of brand.”

I don’t think anyone here ever heard of Popsicles though. It’s “ice pop” all the way.

Ironically, the first recorded ice pop (according to Wikipedia) was made in SAN FRANCISCO and first sold to the public in Oakland. Go stick that in your pie hole. (We learned about pie holes from our midwestern friend Ritt in Madison. Also learned about cheese curds and fried cheese curds, and fish frys there).


  1. Funny: I’ve been saying ice pops my whole life, and never realized the four years I lived in Cali that I would’ve been revealing myself as a New Yorker/now-New Jerseyan.

    I’ll have to bring you some ices from Ralph’s in Staten Island some time. You can have your water ice, mostly in fruit flavors, or something slightly richer like a cream ice, not to be confused with ice cream. Delicious!

  2. Actually, we had Ralphs! We went for pizza across the street from one in Staten Island, on our way to the children’s museum. They had a HUGE menu. Yummy! But don’t let me stop you from bringing me some…:)

  3. You’ve already had Denino’s and Ralph’s? Two local institutions! Wait, how long have you lived here?

    That menu is awesome! Vastly superior to Rita’s. Next time I’ll be bringing a pina colada or black raspberry ice your way.

  4. My college roommate who lives in Chatham told me about Deninos when we were heading to SI. My husband spotted Ralphs across the street. Glad to know we’re already “in the know.” We welcome any and all flavors – including pina colada and black raspberry!

  5. […] at dinner one night, I decided to quiz my companions on Jersey lingo. I was with two New Yorkers (one from Brooklyn), and one a woman from […]

  6. Love terminologies that are so regional. As a kid, when we moved from New York to Arizona, we were baffled at the supermarket when people asked if we wanted a “sack.” What??? OH, a BAG? I never learned to call it a sack. That’s what potatoes come in, and that kind of bag ain’t made of brown paper.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: