Not your average Snow Cone...Shave Ice

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And now for my favorite local Hawaii treat...Shave Ice. After a hot day on the beach, there is nothing better. Although some people mistakenly believe that shave ice is nothing more than a "snow cone," one taste is all that's needed to see how very different these two icy delights are. While snow cones are simply crushed ice and syrup, shave ice is made from ice that is actually finely shaved to give it a soft, delicate and almost fluffy texture resembling fresh snow. Like many local foods and traditions, shave ice originated in Japan-- where it is called “kakigori” -- and was brought to the Hawaiiian Islands by Japanese plantation workers. Today, it is popular with locals as well as visitors lucky enough to have heard about it. Where should you go for shave ice? I think most locals would agree that Hawaii’s best shave ice can be found at Waiola’s Shave Ice in Moilili or Kapahulu, and Matsumoto’s Shave Ice in the historical town of Haleiwa on the North Shore of Oahu. Don't be intimidated by the lines because they move quickly and the shave ice is well worth any wait. Both places offer dozens of flavors that you can mix and match and give you the option of adding condensed milk, ice cream or azuki beans. I’m personally partial to some of the more “local” syrup flavors such as Guava, Pineapple, Coconut and Li Hing Mui, but basic flavors like Strawberry, Orange-Creamsicle, Vanilla, and Banana are great options too. Honestly, it's hard to go wrong picking a flavor of shave ice -- so just go with what inspires and excites you.

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