When it’s hot and humid outside, one of the coolest and most refreshing things you can consume is some form of shaved ice. In a recent Eater article, the author examines several different types of shaved or crushed ice desserts from around the world.
The article leads off with an explanation of how a number of acclaimed restaurants across America are incorporating Japanese kakigori shaved ice into a variety of dishes.
Japanese and Hawaiian-style kakigori or shave ice is generally soft and fluffy like snow and is usually flavored with fruit, tea or white sugar-flavored syrups.
Shave ice is very popular with both local residents and visitors to Hawaii, and it is common for the many flavors of the frozen concoction there to be topped with syrups and sweet red beans.
In most parts of the U.S., snow cones are a favorite sweet treat for people of all ages. Unlike the soft, snow-like Japanese and Hawaiian shaved ices, the ice in snow cones is actually crushed, giving it more of a coarse, almost-crunchy texture.
Reportedly invented in 1919, snow cones are now available at convenience stores and fast food restaurants everywhere.
A frozen treat called granita is popular in Italy, and in India a coarsely textured snow cone-like treat named Gola is a crowd favorite.
People in China and Taiwan have been enjoying a form of shave ice called Bao Bing for centuries, and in the Philippines a shaved ice dessert named halo-halo is the sweet-treat of choice for many people.
No matter what you call it, or which variety you choose to eat, shaved ice is a cool and satisfying item that is great to eat in hot weather.