Trendspotting? Shaved ice

Despite having just filled up on brunch at Public, I knew we had to order a bowl of shaved ice the moment I spotted this traditional shave-ice machine at the Hester Street Fair.
The Shaved Ice Shop brought us back to our youth with their ever-so-light and fluffy shaved ice. Whenever my family took a Hawaiian vacation, my mother would pine for the shaved ice sold half-way along the road to Hana (and wax nostalgic about how it was better before they got the new machine). And Aron fondly remembers a store in Davis, where he grew up, which served truly shaved (as opposed to crushed) ice. Honestly, after you’ve had the real deal, it’s hard to go back to ices and snow cones. 
This iteration was particularly interesting because it stayed true to the Asian root* of shaved ice: theirs is inspired by that found at Taiwanese street markets. We were told to try the red beans, which are traditional, along with some other berries as toppings. A scoop of ice cream comes on the side (we chose mango as they had run out of Green Tea), and then the whole thing is doused in sweetened condensed milk (oh my goodness, yum). I only wished I didn’t have to share! Happily, I’ve since spotted at least one other source of shaved ice in the city and there’s a new snow cone spot on the scene, too. Is this the start of a trend? I hope so!

Have a fantastic weekend!

*Of course shave-ice is popular around the world–and comes in many forms–but reportedly has its origin in Japan. I’d like to believe Wikipedia is right, because the idea of Samurai-shaved ice is pretty awesome–but other sources do offer alternative lore.

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