When I moved from a desert city to a mountain town in middle school, the benefits came in droves: There was skiing before class, hiking in the afternoon, and, most importantly, snow days. During my first year, I celebrated nearly a dozen plow-halting winter storms, all of which started off the same way—with Snang and Tow.
On the morning of the first snow of the season—the kind that magically carpets the brown, wintry landscape in a blindingly white, foot-plus layer overnight—my mom would dig out the Tang from the back of the pantry. Her own invention, Tang and snow slushies (lovingly nicknamed Snang and Tow) came to existence at the intersection of Tang’s marketing slam-dunk, when NASA began packing it on missions, and the middle of her New England high school career.
The trick was to scoop snow from the top few lightest layers without compacting it too much, then to mix in the artificially neon-orange powder without pressing the snow down further. Eaten with a spoon until my entire mouth matched the color of the packaging, it was a delicacy I looked forward to every year—and still do, though the toppings have changed.
Earlier-than-anticipated snowfalls and understocked pantries have lead to a number of variations on the original, from Cranberry Juice and Snow to maple syrup-packed cones. I’ve taken cues from New England (which is, as it turns out, is an incubator for edible snow creations) by pouring scalding maple syrup over snow to make maple taffy and have added fruit concentrate to cones as they did in ancient Persia.
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But whenever possible, it's Snang and Tow I return to. The consistency of the Tang flavors the snow without weighing it down, so that each bite feels almost like eating air—air with a false-citrus but addictive bite to it. Some might say it's the snow-day breakfast of champions.
Do you have any favorite snow-based desserts? Do you bow down at the Altar of Tang? Tell us in the comments below!