A popular local and visitor pastime on our beautiful islands is to get a Hawaiian Shave Ice. Don’t get this lovely cool treat confused with a “snow-cone”. Shave ice is made by shaving a block of ice while the snow-cone is made with crushed ice. There’s a huge difference!
Shaving the ice produces a very fluffy snowy texture, so when you pour the flavored syrups onto it, the shaved ice absorbs the flavor and doesn’t just sink to the bottom of the cup. In Hawaii we’re blessed with such a variety of tropical fruits so there’s an endless variation of flavors to create. Not only can you get your standard apple, grape, cherry, lime flavors, add to that pineapple, lychee, mango, papaya, lilikoi, guava, li hing miu, and on and on. Also popular is to add a scoop of ice cream to the bottom and then even drizzle sweetened condensed milk at the top. Yum!
Another local favorite is the Halo Halo. Halo Halo is a Philipino dessert consisting of sweetened azuki, kidney or garbanzo beans, sugar palm fruit, coconut, jackfruit, tapioca. They take this combination and place it in the bottom of the shave ice cup, fill it with shave ice, drizzle it with milk, add a layer of custard or flan and then top it with a scoop of taro or purple yam ice cream. It’s so ono! Not every shave ice stand offers this, but you can definitely get it at Ono Ono Shave ice in Kapaa and a version of it at JoJo’s Shave Ice in Waimea.
Shave ice is a deliciously cooling treat and there are options all over the island. There are at least 4 shave ice stands in Hanalei, 3 in Kapaa, at least 4 in Lihue – one of them being Hamura’s Saimin, and 4 in the Koloa/Poipu area. They’re easy to find. Look for the folks sitting around eating out of plastic cups with large bulbous colorful concoctions of Hawaiian shave ice.