The snowy shavings are layered with caramel, whipped cream and melting bits of fragrant jellied coffee, Earl Grey tea or matcha, in a lush new variation on ancient Japanese kakigori shaved ice and modern Japanese parfaits. At Taiyaki NYC in Chinatown, tall swirls of pale green matcha and black sesame soft-serve ice creams are piled in warm, fluffy waffle cones shaped like fish, their mouths yawning wide enough to add fresh strawberries and a skewer of multicolored mini-mochi. Blossom, a shop across the river in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, mixes Oreo-banana Thai ice cream rolls on an icy metal plate, topping them with a drizzle of condensed milk, mini-chocolate peanut butter cups, strawberry and green tea Kit Kats and a blowtorch-toasted marshmallow. Icy, pretty frozen treats from Asia — Thai ice cream rolls, Korean-style honey soft serve, Hong Kong egg waffle sundaes, Japanese parfaits, Chinese ice-cream-filled buns, Taiwanese bubble tea floats, and Filipino and Indonesian shaved ice — are popping up in more and more places in the United States, where they put the basic American scoop shop to shame. Some of these treats are delicious, some are perfectly pleasant and many are achingly, inedibly sweet. Yet in a social-media-dominated world, the picture can be more satisfying than the dessert.
Mountain of Shaved Ice
Snowflake Shaved Ice (Taiwan) - Kirbie's Cravings
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Snowflake Shaved Ice (Taiwan)
Given my love for Taiwanese snowflake shaved ice, of course I had to try it from the source. As a quick recap, snowflake or snow ice was introduced in Taiwan a few years ago. These condensed milk ice blocks are then finely shaven in special machines.
When it gets hot in the Bay Area with warmth reminiscent of my Hawaiian childhood, my first thought goes to shaved ice not ice cream. Last week, my friend Vera had a hankering for shaved snow so we went to check out the new Ice Monster in Walnut Creek. Shaved snow is finer in texture than Hawaiian shaved ice.