Friday, January 8, 2010

Shave Ice: It's no snow cone.

Shave (not "shaved") ice eats more like soft ice cream than the crunchy snow cone from the Mainland. But essentially, yes, it is nothing but frozen water in a paper cone—before you choose your syrupy, colorful toping. Hmm? Shall you have Strawberry, Pineapple, Lemon, Coconut, Banana, Vanilla, Root Beer, Grape, Lime, Lilikoi (Passion fruit), Orange, Honeydew, Melon, Mango, Raspberry, Watermelon, Bubblegum, Cotton Candy, Pinacolada, Banana Cream, Lihing Mui, Lychee, Cherry, Green Apple, Guava, Tangerine, Green tea, Fruit Punch, Melona, Peach, Creamsicle, Strawberry Cream, Coconut Cream, Mizore, or some combination thereof? Add azuki beans or vanilla ice cream at the bottom? Spash of condensed milk? Whatever, order something and start shoveling with the plastic spoon and let the Aloha happen, brah.

You'll find shave ice counters throughout Hawaiian beach towns. Lines form in Haleiwa on Oahu's North Shore outside Matsumoto's, but the treats at Aoki's and H. Miura's nearby are just as good. Real shave ice freaks head to Kauai and jam into Jojo's in Waimea. Then again, it's hard to beat the Mauna Kea Icecap from the Kealia Ranch Store south of Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii.