Four years ago when Dee Moore moved to Memphis, she and her husband noticed a hole in the frozen treats market. Both natives of the Northeast (Dee from Baltimore, her husband from Philadelphia), the couple grew up with the cool delight of Italian ice, and they decided to share this delectable summer staple with Memphians by founding Mama D's Italian Ice.
For those unfamiliar with to Italian ice, it's a frozen dessert that originated in Sicily and was soon carried over to the United States. Using very simple ingredients (water, fruit, sugar, and syrup), early Italian immigrants would freeze the mixture and scrape the icy blend into bowls. Now a machine makes the process much easier for Dee, who can produce one batch of Mama D’s in just 15 minutes. The result is smooth, almost sorbet-like and scoopable.
Although they don’t have a central location, Mama D’s enjoys considerable success with both a trailer for farmers markets and festivals and a cart for smaller events. They offer a variety of flavors, from traditional lemon, to margarita, tangerine, and even chocolate.
Look for Mama D’s at the Cooper Young Festival, Cordova Arts and Crafts Festival, and the Bartlett Festival, or at the Botanic Garden farmers market every Wednesday from 2-6 p.m. through October 28th.