“It kind of looks like tuna,” says a skeptical customer on the SnoCream Shavery bus, as she inspected a bowl of milk tea “sno” made by Arturo Mei. The Virginia native first tried the frozen Taiwanese sweet — which falls between a snow cone and ice cream on the richness scale — on his travels through China. “I saw it and thought, I have to bring this to D.C.,” Mei says. This month, he launched the SnoCream Shavery, a 1997 school bus decked out with neon lights, aluminum flooring and plastic cubes as seats.

How the heck is this made?
Mei combines equal parts milk and water, adds natural flavors and freezes the mixture into a cylinder. A machine that looks like a cross between a meat slicer and a stand mixer shaves ribbons off the ice chunk as it spins it over a blade. When the sheets come off the blade, they fold on top of each other into crinkly layers.

What’s up with the name?
“Some people call it shaved sno or fluffed ice,” Mei says. “There are a lot of names for it because it’s just the beginning and no one else really knows about it.” Westfield Montgomery mall rats may recall a kiosk named SnoDream. It sold a similar treat, but went out of business last year.

I’m not really into it. Does he sell anything else?
In addition to sno, Mei offers macarons in inventive flavors such as Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Fruity Pebbles and taro, an Asian root. He’s also working on a selection of bubble teas. “We don’t want to roll everything out too fast and have a disaster,” Mei says. “I’m trying to perfect one thing at a time.”

OK, I’m in. Where’s the bus?
Mei’s vehicle exceeds the 18.5-foot length limit for food trucks in D.C., so he’s most often in Clarendon and Tysons Corner. The next time you can catch him will be at the Clarendon Truck Rally (3140 N. Washington Blvd., Arlington) on Sept. 25 from 6:30-9 p.m. and Sept. 27-28 from 1-9 p.m. Keep track on Instagram at SnoCreamCompany.

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