Tag Archives: Hawaiian shave ice

drop the ‘d’ brah

This past weekend, Ray mentioned we went to Hampton Beach in NH on the way back from Portland. Living in Boston makes me realize how much I miss the accessible beaches of Long Island — private to LI natives for the most part (silly city folk), clean, and fine sand.  Desperate for a cold thirst quencher – I’m pretty sure it was 90+ on Sunday, I saw a small stand near the local arcade selling Hawaiian Shave Ice.  Note, there is no D in shave ice.

This is what I got — shaveD ice… as in with the D for hot mess Disaster.

Back in 2008, I graduated from BU and spent a nice chunk of my summer in Hawaii.  Looking back, I could have been studying for the CPA exam, but I figured I’ll save that for my official adult life.   It’s a good thing too!  If I hadn’t gone to Hawaii, I would have missed the true shave ice experience (and the absolutely gorgeous beaches and hot surfers).

Shave ice is a sort of treasure.  It’s like finding colored snow without the unsaid fear that a dog might have just marked its territory. The flavored syrup absorbs into the snow, so you’re not left with the typical thick syrup soup at the bottom. Unlike our normal mainland snow cones, this ice is like real snow. This is achieved by literally shaving a huge blocks of ice, rather than throwing it in an ice crusher. The latter just screams crunchy, granular ice.  That ish is poho (slang for nonsense or waste of time).  Go ahead, tell me you’re impressed with my seamless integration of Hawaiian slang.

Already, you can see the difference.  The shave ice is much finer.  You can also tell that the snow holds onto the flavor, unlike the first picture above where you can see the ice on top is beginning to lose its color.  You may have also noticed the white in the picture directly above.  That shave ice is covered with a drizzle of condensed milk, a typical condiment for this cold treat.  I thought it added just the right about of richness without being too heavy.  Mmmmm.   I ate that baby three years ago, but I remember it so vividly.  I would go back to Hawaii right now for a good shave ice.

Or maybe this.