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The only place you’ll find snowflakes in Hawaii is on Beretania Street, where a little mom-and-pop shop called Frost City serves an edible version of this wintery phenomenon all year long. A mix between shave ice and ice cream, “snowflake ice” blustered into our islands from Taiwan and quickly earned a more localized name: Taiwanese shave ice.
Is this interesting-looking or what? Taiwan’s version of shave ice in Hawaii.
It’s easy to confuse your taste buds when taking your first bite of this growing craze. It’s creamy like ice cream, icy like shave ice, but it’s neither of the two. Instead, snowflake ice is its own species of frozen treats and has been attracting a large following since its debut in the islands early this year. The actual recipe is a family secret. All we need to know is what’s sitting on the classy ceramic plate in front of us.
Ribbons of paper-thin ice fold together neatly to form a mini mountain of flavors. With 36 to choose from, the combinations seem endless. I like that they keep Hawaii in mind and added familiar flavors, like locally-sourced lychee, mango, haupia and lilikoi. Most of the exotic flavors, such as black currant from France, sell out quickly. If it’s your first time trying snowflake ice, then perhaps you want to avoid getting just the chocolate flavor. Not to say that it isn’t tasty, but a certain pile of something might come to mind and steal your appetite. Add another flavor to it for piece of mind.
With that said, overall, I’d say snowflake ice is a pretty dessert. Flavors blend together to create a rainbow of colors while tiny mochi balls and pieces of fruit add the final touches. It’s also really healthful. At only 150 calories, snowflake ice can be enjoyed numerous times on your Hawaiian vacation, making it easier to fit into your swimsuit!
FROST CITY • 2570 Beretania St., Ste 105, Honolulu, HI 96826 • Opens Tues-Thurs 1230pm-10pm, Fri-Sat 1230pm-11pm, Sun 1230pm-530pm • 808-947-3328 • Free parking available; near bus route
Photo Credit: Noa Myers