To say that Shave Ice is popular in Hawaii is an understatement. Shave Ice is THE cool treat in the islands and anyone who has ever driven through Haleiwa Town on Oahu’s North Shore and have seen the lines for Shave Ice, could attest to that fact. For many people, whether local residents or visitors from afar, Shave Ice is often worth the twenty-person deep line often found at the more popular establishments. The best part is that Shave Ice, notice we do not say shaved ice, can only be found in Hawaii.
Many people who visit the islands come thinking that Shave Ice is the same thing as a snow cone. It would be impossible to be more wrong. The typical snow cone, though nice on a hot day, is basically a lump of ground ice chunks covered in generic syrup. When you first bite into a snow cone, you hurt your teeth, scratch up your gums, and the next thing you know, it has become a melted, sticky, and watery mess. On the other hand, a typical Hawaiian Shave Ice is a dessert of fine pieces of ice that has actually been shaved off of an ice chunk. It is then covered in a syrup or combination of syrups, which are often homemade and in a variety of flavors ranging from Strawberry to more local flavors such as Lychee. The creation of Shave Ice does not stop there. Depending on the establishment, lucky patrons can even add Vanilla ice cream, Azuki beans, Mochi, and top it off with condensed milk.
Due to the endless combinations of flavors, it would take a very long time to try every one of them; however, it would be a tasty challenge to attempt. There truly is a science to preparing Shave Ice and it is due to the careful preparation and creativity that Shave Ice is a treat that is a must-have for locals and visitors alike.
By : Amanda Curtis