Nothing is more refreshing after a long day on a sunny beach in Hawaii than the island’s favorite frozen confection: Hawaiian Shave Ice. Popular among locals and tourists alike, it is served throughout the islands in surf shops, ice cream parlors, general stores and at outdoor festivals.
Hawaiian shave ice is similar to a snow cone with its colorful sweet flavors, but the superfine fluffy texture and vast range of tropical flavors set it apart from traditional mainland snow cones.
In order to create perfect Hawaiian shave ice, one or more blades are used to mechanically shave a large block of ice into a soft yet dense consistency. It’s almost like wet heavy snow that shapes the perfect snowball. This snow-like ice is served in a cup, bowl or cone and is perfect for locking in color and flavor: a spoon and straw are used for scooping and sipping.
Like a blank canvas Hawaiian shave ice begs to be adorned with any flavor combination imaginable. It can be served with ice cream or, as is popular in Hawaii, it can also be served on top of sweet red Azuki beans.
The flavors are brightly colored sugary sweet syrups, and thanks to the tropical climate and melting pot of cultures here in Hawaii there is a menagerie of exciting and exotic options especially for Hawaiian shave ice. The selection includes lychee, lihing mui, lilikoi, guava, mango, green tea, pineapple, coconut and banana.
Of course all of the classic childhood favorites are available like strawberry, cherry, lime, lemon, watermelon, cotton candy and bubble gum. Choose your favorite or pick two or more to design a tasty rainbow.
Hawaiian shave ice the perfect warm weather treat. And since the weather is perfect nearly everyday in Hawaii, it can be enjoyed any time of the year.
Written by Heather Stever