Shave ice is a classic Hawaiian dessert with roots dating far back. Brought to the islands by Japanese immigrants, shaved ice first was called Kakigori and was first mentioned as early as the 8th century AD. The roots of the Japanese dessert are said to have come even early from China. Ice was a delicacy, so the resulting shaved or crushed ice, accompanied with fruit or other syrups, was reserved for the elite. Shave ice, or shaved ice as it is called outside of Hawaii, spread to the US in the early 1900s, leading to the invention of Snow Cones and their rise as a popular concession. It’s not hard to see why shaved ice is such a beloved dessert. The colors are alluring jewel tones and customizable depending on the flavor. Shave ice is a simple, cheap food and provides a relief from the heat of a hot summer day. Not just for me, but I’d imagine for many, shaved ice evokes childhood and simpler times where a colorful, sweet mound of ice was, as it was historically too, a luxurious treat.
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