Pau Hana, everyone! Time for a little local flavor.
Can’t see the sign? Just look for the line!…at the corner of Frog Lane and School Street for the best shave ice, EVER. Shimazu Store, that’s the place.
What could be more quintessentially Hawaiian than an old Mom & Pop store front that peddles the Islands’ favorite frozen concoction, shave ice?
Shave Ice is a matter of serious debate and opinion. So, which style do I like best?
To my mind, the old-school Japanese technique of making kori is the best. (Yes, for you anime fans, Bleach characters Ichigo & Kori literally mean strawberry shave ice) It offers up the fluffiest Island snow ever. It’s as if the fresh falling snow was caught in a cup before it hit the ground. The big wet soft snowflakes. The texture is distinctly different from the snow cones on the Mainland which are frequently gritty in texture.
Another distinction between Mainland versions and the Hawaiian real deal is the quality and variety of the syrups. The best shave ice places make their own. They have their own signature flavors with fresh Island ingredients. Most shun corn syrup for the Island preference of real cane sugar. The taste profile is as dramatically different. Think imitation vanillin v fresh vanilla bean pods from Hamakua. Yep, THAT different.
And my pic for Island’s Best? Shimazu Store. Proprietor Kelvin Shimazu has kept the ambiance of the old B & S Store, even keeping an old-time cash register in the corner.
Can’t read the fine print? Click here to see the original review.
Just three dollars gets you a small. Warning: small by Shimazu standards is huge by any other. Other sizes? Various degrees of gianormous. And then there are the choices…ice cream or mochi on the bottom? Haupia or condensed milk drizzled over top? What combination of flavors?
The people in my neighborhood all agreed that the cream flavors are incredibly wonderful. For the purists, nothing but strawberry cream, plain and simple. Simply onolicious. Then for the more adventurous, the staff can help you choose what seems like a cacophony of flavors that plays like a symphony on the palate.
I had them choose for me this time around. What did Jenny, Kalyn and Kendall
concoct for me? Mine is a small. Yes, that is a small that Jenny is presenting me with. Mango, Melon, Banana with mochi snuggled in the bottom and haupia dripping across the top.
All of those extras brings it to the borderland of halo-halo, which is pinoy (Filipino) for mix-mix.
Traditional halo-halo has a treasure chest of goodies that could include a number of treats such as bananas, jackfruit, mochi and more topped with shave ice, maybe some ice cream, some condensed milk. The fact is the definition is not solid. It’s a matter of preferential choice.
So what do you get with with a Shimazu Store $5.50 Halo Halo? I guess I need to go back to conduct more research! And don’t you know, I will have to add the ube (Okinawan purple sweet yam) ice cream.
(If you need, someone to help you with your online platform, I can be bought with Key Lime Shave Ice. Just sayin’)
So here, Dear Reader, I invite you to go up to the comment link at the top of the post and give us your definitions. Because if you know what halo-halo is, we know you have a passionate opinion on the subject. Let the definitions begin! Show Shimazu some love and click “like” on the UrbanSpoon icon above!