Medha Imam: From Sicily
to the streets of Queens, Italian ice has been a staple for cooling off during the summer heat for centuries. And one shop credited with bringing this frozen,
fruity treat to New York is the Lemon Ice King of Corona. Sandy Ronquillo: Lemon
Ice King has been a staple of this neighborhood for so long. Jimmy: I think the Lemon Ice
King here in Corona is Corona. Janette Leoni: Creamy.
It’s got a lot of flavor. It is delicious. Merry Morrow: It is so good. You have to come to Corona and get some. Medha: But what is it that
makes the Lemon Ice King so legendary? We headed out to Corona, Queens, to speak with the current owners about the history of the
crowd-favorite institution and learn how the shop
has survived for 75 years selling its beloved Italian ice. The Lemon Ice King of Corona began in 1944 when Nicola Benfaremo began
churning and selling ice out of his garage in a
largely Italian neighborhood. Nicola’s son, Peter,
partnered up with his father to open up a storefront in 1964, just in time for the New York World’s Fair in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, which attracted more
than 51 million people around the globe. Newsreel: Everyone is coming
to the New York World’s Fair. Vinny Barbaccia: The real
Lemon Ice King started here through Peter Benfaremo. Even though we gotta acknowledge
his father, obviously. Mike Zampino: Yeah, he
took it to the next level. Medha: That’s Mike Zampino
and Vinny Barbaccia, the current owners of
the Queens institution. Mike: Pete to me was
like my second father. Probably one of my best friends as well. Medha: An immigrant from Italy, Nicola made his ice the traditional way, using natural ingredients
and actual pieces of fruit, like in Sicilian granita, a semi-frozen dessert with
a sugar and water base. But what made the Benfaremo ice stand out was its creamy texture, which was unlike the
coarse and crystalline versions of early Italian ice and which they achieved
without using any dairy. Vinny: No dairy at all
in any of the flavors. You assume, like, yeah, it’s a cream ice. You know, it’s got milk in
it. It’s got dairy in it. No dairy in any. It’s just our recipes that make the product
turn out the way it does. Jimmy: Can’t say nothing but the best. Always been eating it, and, as
you can see, still eating it. Mike: We get a lot of input
from, like, the neighborhood. Where it used to more like
pistachio, lemon, orange, that’s more traditional Italian flavor, and that was what the neighborhood was. Now, as the neighborhood changes, we see we’re selling more mango, piña colada, more of the tropical fruits. Janette: I’m here all the
way from Ohio to taste this. Merry: This is great. Medha: Overwhelmed by the praise, I couldn’t wait to get my share of the iconic Benfaramo Italian ice. Out of their 36 flavors, I decided to try their cult
classic, peanut butter, which contains chunks
of peanuts throughout. But first, their most popular flavor, the namesake lemon ice. Mike: Lemon Ice King.
Vinny: Lemons. Lemon is lemon. Medha: It comes in the form of a rose. All right, so here I go. This is truly amazing. On a humid day like
this, in New York City, this is exactly what I
wanted to taste right now. This tastes like fresh lemons, but also it’s sweet, too. So, if you’re a sweet tooth, like me, you would love this. But if you’re having Italian
ice for the first time, you are gonna feel, like, kind of, like, prickles on your tongue? But they’re refreshing prickles because it’s just, like,
the coldness of the ice that’s really, ah, so refreshing. Do you guys want to try some? You’re gonna have to
come to Lemon Ice King. This is Lemon Ice King
of Corona’s newer flavor. It is the peanut-butter ice. It’s become a hit amongst the community and a lot of people around New York. So, I’m really excited to try this out. This is the one that I saw on social media that people are raving about. So here we go. Oh, my God! I really cannot believe
that dairy is not in this because this tastes so smooth and just like any peanut-butter ice cream that I’ve had in the past. Vinny: Oh, yeah. Whatever
flavor that you’re aiming at, you’re gonna find that
it’s the best you’ve had. Medha: The 75-year-old recipe and larger window operation remain loyal to its
owner and neighborhood, as Vinny and Mike continue to hire local kids to scoop out Italian ice. Vinny: We’re part of the neighborhood. We grew up here, we
grew up with the store, people that come up here, and now, I grew up with these kids, now they’re coming up with their kids. And it’s like, you realize how
old you’re getting, you know? But again, you realize the
strength of the institution, if you will, right? That we’re still here, still going strong, and hopefully we’re here
for another 100 years. Medha: Red rose. Here I go. (man laughs) You wanna try it out together? Man: Yeah, yeah. Medha: OK, here I go.

How The Lemon Ice King Of Corona Became The Most Legendary Italian-Ice Shop In NYC | Legendary Eats
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100 thoughts on “How The Lemon Ice King Of Corona Became The Most Legendary Italian-Ice Shop In NYC | Legendary Eats

  • August 26, 2019 at 4:02 pm
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    3rd

    Reply
  • August 26, 2019 at 4:02 pm
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    Been going to Lemon Ice King of Corona since I was a kid! Legendary spot

    Reply
  • August 26, 2019 at 4:03 pm
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    Dude how much food can NYC have? Wow man this ice cream looks so good.. too bad I can't get there since I'm in the bronx (a little distance from me…)

    Reply
  • August 26, 2019 at 4:03 pm
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    If only they could make one in Florida🥵it’s hot as shit

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  • August 26, 2019 at 4:04 pm
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    Their lemon ice is magical! So creamy and refreshing

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  • August 26, 2019 at 4:06 pm
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    Best thing in corona

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  • August 26, 2019 at 4:06 pm
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    The peanut butter is surprisingly great, too!

    Reply
  • August 26, 2019 at 4:07 pm
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    I thought this ice place was in Corona, California! Way to get my hopes up =(

    Reply
  • August 26, 2019 at 4:07 pm
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    Calm music plays as water flows from my mouth

    Reply
  • August 26, 2019 at 4:09 pm
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    The King of Cool!

    Reply
  • August 26, 2019 at 4:10 pm
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    I want that😵

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  • August 26, 2019 at 4:12 pm
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    Yummy

    Reply
  • August 26, 2019 at 4:12 pm
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    Lemon ice cream???

    The Taste is unimaginable

    Reply
  • August 26, 2019 at 4:15 pm
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    I am dying for ice cream for a long time and this is perfect for me i can eat them all i am ready 😝😝

    Reply
  • August 26, 2019 at 4:17 pm
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    Who wants adrienette to happen

    Reply
  • August 26, 2019 at 4:21 pm
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    can't wait to try this! didn't know about this before this video and really can't get through these NYC summers without italian ice.

    Reply
  • August 26, 2019 at 4:24 pm
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    Ice Cream is the MOST unhealthiest food according to Chinese Medicine

    Reply
  • August 26, 2019 at 4:24 pm
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    Ha when you went to Grover Cleveland high school In queens you took your ass to get you an icee we used to cut to get them damn icees 🙌🏼🙌🏼 so delicious and iconic

    Reply
  • August 26, 2019 at 4:26 pm
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    Who wants some ice cream for the hot summer now? 🙂

    Reply
  • August 26, 2019 at 4:27 pm
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    King of Queens! Doug and Carrie buying some in the opening

    Reply
  • August 26, 2019 at 4:33 pm
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    if youre not in nyc and just here to starve,,

    like!

    Reply
  • August 26, 2019 at 4:35 pm
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    Welcome back to WHY THE HELL IS IT IN MY RECOMMENDED ( EP 5049 )

    Reply
  • August 26, 2019 at 4:49 pm
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    At 2:14 a goodfella

    Reply
  • August 26, 2019 at 4:50 pm
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    DUDE
    PEANUT BUTTER
    BUTTER=DAIRY
    BRAIN CELLS=MY ASS
    MY ASS=-999999999999999

    Reply
  • August 26, 2019 at 4:53 pm
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    OH WOW!! Now I really really want to tray this 🤤
    Much love from Italy

    Reply
  • August 26, 2019 at 4:54 pm
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    Lucky for me I live only 3 blocks away from it so I can experience their Italian ice anytime

    Reply
  • August 26, 2019 at 4:55 pm
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    Oh yeah I love Italian ass

    Reply
  • August 26, 2019 at 4:57 pm
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    I know the store from the king of queens intro where doug dropped his ice cream.

    Reply
  • August 26, 2019 at 4:57 pm
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    Anybody saw Henry the warden Pope from Prison Break on 4.17 🙂

    Reply
  • August 26, 2019 at 5:01 pm
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    Ive been there once. Its ok. Nothing special.

    Reply
  • August 26, 2019 at 5:06 pm
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    Boi I literally live right there lmaoooo😎😎😎😎
    What up fffAaaammmZzzzz
    #NYC

    Reply
  • August 26, 2019 at 5:07 pm
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    Everyone should stop there. It’s amazing.

    Reply
  • August 26, 2019 at 5:11 pm
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    Never had it but I really want to. I live on eastern Long Island, known for Ralph's Italian Ice

    Reply
  • August 26, 2019 at 5:17 pm
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    4:52 IF YOU LIKED THE ADAM SANDLER CAMEO…….

    👇MAKE THIS BLUE🤣

    Reply
  • August 26, 2019 at 5:19 pm
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    IF YOU'RE SUPER ATTRACTED TO HER….

    👇MAKE THIS BLUE😸

    Reply
  • August 26, 2019 at 5:19 pm
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    King of queens anyone?

    Reply
  • August 26, 2019 at 5:23 pm
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    Philly: pshaaaa AMATEURS

    Reply
  • August 26, 2019 at 5:27 pm
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    This thumbnail looks like ketchup that's been frozen and shaved I can't

    Reply
  • August 26, 2019 at 5:29 pm
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    Food Insider your videos always amaze me , keep rocking

    Reply
  • August 26, 2019 at 5:34 pm
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    Just passed there yesterday!!!

    Reply
  • August 26, 2019 at 5:34 pm
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    잘보고갑니다🇰🇷🇰🇷🇰🇷🇰🇷🇰🇷👏👏👏👍👍👍👍❤❤❤❤❤❤

    Reply
  • August 26, 2019 at 5:37 pm
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    If only it was in Nigeria 😢😔

    Reply
  • August 26, 2019 at 5:43 pm
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    I want to taste it
    Yummy…

    Reply
  • August 26, 2019 at 5:45 pm
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    She barely licked it and had so much to say about it 😂😂

    Reply
  • August 26, 2019 at 5:48 pm
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    Why is it that all NYC people get the best food?

    Reply
  • August 26, 2019 at 5:50 pm
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    Tht plcae is right down the st of my house😉😉😉😉😉😉

    Reply
  • August 26, 2019 at 5:50 pm
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    Yumm. Looks good!

    Reply
  • August 26, 2019 at 5:51 pm
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    Please can I have a shout-out

    Reply
  • August 26, 2019 at 5:52 pm
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    Everytime I see this I think of "The King of Queens" where Dough drops his Lemon ice and Carrie has to turn back to get him a new one. He is such a man child and so greedy. lmao!

    Reply
  • August 26, 2019 at 5:55 pm
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    In Middletown connecticut there is an Italian ice place that honestly is just so amazing it's so creamy and just so good

    Reply
  • August 26, 2019 at 6:00 pm
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    Looks like gola ganda

    Reply
  • August 26, 2019 at 6:01 pm
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    Wow I'm early

    Reply
  • August 26, 2019 at 6:13 pm
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    Awesome Sauce 😎

    Reply
  • August 26, 2019 at 6:23 pm
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    I’m hungry so I appreciate God waking me up everyday so that I can enjoy my Wonderful Beautiful Life and eat delicious foods and drinks delicious drinks 💖💯🙏🏿🌈😘🥰

    Reply
  • August 26, 2019 at 6:37 pm
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    all I learned is that they do not mix or exchange ices

    Reply
  • August 26, 2019 at 6:39 pm
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    Looks ok, ben and Jerry's is the best

    Reply
  • August 26, 2019 at 6:46 pm
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    awe i wanna taste it

    Reply
  • August 26, 2019 at 6:50 pm
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    $45 for a half gallon I could get 5 bluebell half gallons for that price and yes bluebell Is the best in all the country

    Reply
  • August 26, 2019 at 6:53 pm
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    È davvero italiano? Non lo sapevo😂

    Reply
  • August 26, 2019 at 7:12 pm
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    Guys let's settle this. As a 100% Sicilian, I can guarantee you that Sicilian Granita isn't icy at all! It's creamy, smooth, delicious, ALWAYS natural and dare I say better than ice cream? Trust me, I've had kilos upon kilos of true Sicilian granita, straight from the source.

    Reply
  • August 26, 2019 at 7:27 pm
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    Lol why does the owner talk like Bernie Sanders?

    Reply
  • August 26, 2019 at 7:33 pm
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    My favorite spot in my childhood

    Reply
  • August 26, 2019 at 7:59 pm
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    This doesn't look healthy and tasty. Too much food coloring. Classic ice cream is the best.

    Reply
  • August 26, 2019 at 8:12 pm
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    Everyone in the comment tried it 😂

    Reply
  • August 26, 2019 at 8:19 pm
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    Actually the video was absolutely fine without this 0:30

    Reply
  • August 26, 2019 at 8:22 pm
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    The ices at lemon ice king arent even good ive been year.
    Lmao

    Reply
  • August 26, 2019 at 9:14 pm
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    Nice

    Reply
  • August 26, 2019 at 9:20 pm
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    Aw the man at the end makes me smile 😭 he was so excited to try it out on camera with her but the cut his little screen time so short

    Reply
  • August 26, 2019 at 9:24 pm
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    That voice is so irritating….

    Reply
  • August 26, 2019 at 9:33 pm
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    GOOD LORD!

    Another brain dead no personality "presenter"

    Reply
  • August 26, 2019 at 9:36 pm
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    Jimmy got cigarettes flavor

    Reply
  • August 26, 2019 at 9:55 pm
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    Ugh, I wish we had this in LA lol #iwantitnow

    Reply
  • August 26, 2019 at 10:17 pm
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    What happened to the color

    Reply
  • August 27, 2019 at 12:06 am
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    Is this vegan?

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  • August 27, 2019 at 1:08 am
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    I know what about the ice cream and that face tgbndgbjy e by why’ve the sg. Ggjuvs gv. G sct

    Reply
  • August 27, 2019 at 1:36 am
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    Cantaloupe and Chocolate chip are my two favs.

    Reply
  • August 27, 2019 at 2:38 am
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    3:00 did anyone notice
    The guy with the hat look like
    SINS
    TO ME😂

    Reply
  • August 27, 2019 at 4:19 am
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    No dairy? Creamy? This sounds like my kind of jam

    Reply
  • August 27, 2019 at 4:23 am
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    That's Home!

    Reply
  • August 27, 2019 at 4:33 am
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    I wanna try this so bad, I have to stick to Water Ice for now. 💀

    Reply
  • August 27, 2019 at 4:48 am
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    We need to talk about the thumbnail…

    Reply
  • August 27, 2019 at 4:53 am
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    They sell these in la too

    Reply
  • August 27, 2019 at 5:22 am
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    I grew up in this place!! Crazy to see it on this channel but peanut butter is the order I get every time it won’t disappoint 💛

    Reply
  • August 27, 2019 at 5:47 am
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    So is this like the Italian version of a raspado

    Reply
  • August 27, 2019 at 5:50 am
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    So we just gunna ignore that the thumbnail looks like a fleshlight?

    Reply
  • August 27, 2019 at 6:36 am
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    So it’s nieve?

    Reply
  • August 27, 2019 at 6:38 am
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    Looks great good work Vinnie and Mike from Canada

    Reply
  • August 27, 2019 at 8:16 am
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    Great video 👍🏻

    Reply
  • August 27, 2019 at 8:58 am
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    2:13 I really want to hear his say “AWHAAAT A WOUUU DERFULLL DREEEEEEEAAAAAMM” enthusiastically

    Reply
  • August 27, 2019 at 9:02 am
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    How to eat this ice cream?? Just tongue?? Or… spoon??

    Reply
  • August 27, 2019 at 9:25 am
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    Do we get spoon to have the rest that’s in the cup or is it just on the top

    Reply
  • August 27, 2019 at 9:35 am
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    🙄 We do it better this looks really frozen not creamy

    Reply
  • August 27, 2019 at 9:42 am
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    Are all the flavours water based?

    Reply
  • August 27, 2019 at 9:59 am
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    Can Food Insider get rid of this girl please..🙄
    I don’t trust this girl ever since her meat adventure last time!
    Pretentious much!

    Reply
  • August 27, 2019 at 10:38 am
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    Growing up in flushing Queens, I had the honer to say that Lemon ice king was a big part of my childhood. I lived 10 min. Away and use to stop there as kids all the time. Best place on earth!!!

    Reply
  • August 27, 2019 at 10:52 am
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    Yummy, I always ordered the red one (2 scones of it) of the red one, back when I still lived in NYC. And before that, when Hillary ran for Senate and in the Dem Primaries for the very first time, I ordered the blue one, bc back then i was a Democrat. I wanted to have purple wheen I was in the Reform Party and ordered the white one whenever I was a independent. Yummyy. Ad the red one tastes the best. The white one the worst.

    Reply
  • August 27, 2019 at 10:59 am
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    I need this NOW 🤤🤤🤤🤤

    Reply

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