Monday, June 22, 2009

Hawaiian Shave Ice

I tried Hawaiian shave ice in Oahu, and it was spectacular. It looks a bit like a giant snow cone, but it is way better. As apparent in the name, fine shaved ice is used, not ground ice like in snow cones. And it is nothing like water ice either. Flavored syrup (usually three different flavors) are poured over the ice. There are a few variations, some include ice cream, azuki beans (sweet red beans), fruit, sweetened condensed milk or dried salted plum powder. I found one place that served it with shaved frozen milk for a more creamy shave ice. (I didn't try it though.)

Hawaiian shave ice was sold almost everywhere in Hawaii, but sadly I only got to eat it twice. It is one of my biggest regrets (plus not taking enough pictures while we were there). My friend took us to a place up North Shore called Matsumoto Shave Ice, which she claimed was the best. It took over 30 minutes to get there, and the line was long. But it was well worth it. My husband and I shared a large order with vanilla ice cream and azuki beans at the bottom and condensed milk poured on top. We, of course, got three flavors, coconut, lychee and honey dew. It was delicious. The flavors were really intense and don't taste artificial either. I couldn't wait to eat it and completely forgot to take a picture of it. Doh! My second turn at Hawaiian shave ice was not nearly as good. We went to a place in Waikiki Beach that served shave ice with fresh fruit. It was eh. I really want Matsumoto again. It was perfection.

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