One of the things I was most looking forward to trying in Hawaii was shave ice. Although I grew up on Italian ice (in my hometown of Philadelphia it’s referred to as water ice), a sweetened frozen dessert made with fruit where the ingredients are frozen while mixing them, I had never tried shave ice before. One of Hawaii’s sweetest treats actually traces its history to Japan, where it is known as kakigori. Japanese immigrants who came to work on Hawaii’s plantations supposedly brought the dessert with them.
Shave ice is made by literally shaving a block of ice so fine that it often appears snow-like then adding flavored syrups. Its extremely fine texture causes the syrups that are added to it to be absorbed by the ice rather than just surrounding it.
There are a plethora of places to get shave ice on Maui but the one that came most highly recommended was Ululani’s. It has two locations in old town Lahaina (both on Front Street), but I recommend the location at 819 as it is in a less congested area and there are tables to sit (depending on the size that you get it’s not a walk and eat kind of dessert). There’s also a location by the airport in Kahului.
Ululani’s has a TON of flavors to choose from including some extremely exotic ones (green tea, guava, leche, pickled mango, tamarind, lilikoki-passion fruit), although they also offer their favorite combinations. For my first ever shaved ice experience I ordered keiki (kids) rainbow, which consisted of cherry, banana, and blue raspberry, while D had coconut lover’s which was coconut, tiger’s blood (cherry), and pina colada. We both got smalls and even they were pretty enormous ($4.25). Larges are $5.25. They also offer a micro size which is smaller than the small and is what I would recommend if you plan on eating lunch or dinner.
I loved shave ice and it one of the things I would most look forward to having again when I return to Hawaii.
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Attraction review-Maui Brewing Company
Tour Operator Review-Valley Isle Excursions
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Restaurant review: Cilantro Grill
Tour Operator Review: Pride of Maui
Luau Review: Drums of the Pacific
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