10 Reasons to Try Hawaiian Shaved Ice (And Why You’ll NEVER Go Back)

Sep 07, 2022

10 Reasons to Try Hawaiian Shaved Ice (And Why You’ll NEVER Go Back)
By Westgate Resorts

10 Reasons to Try Hawaiian Shaved Ice (And Why You’ll NEVER Go Back)

There are few finer things in life than delicious Hawaiian shaved ice on a hot summer’s day. Some close competitors include visiting your favorite seafood restaurant Cocoa Beach or spending the day you’re your family at the Westgate Cocoa Beach Pier. By combining the finest flakes of ice with fresh, vibrant flavors, shaved ice isn’t merely a refreshing treat and a treasured part of Hawaiian culture that is not to be missed.

Originally brought to Hawaii by Japanese plantation workers in the early 1900s, it has grown steadily in popularity and interwoven itself into the culture as a local delicacy.

Traditionally made with thinly shaved ice drizzled with flavored syrup and served in a paper cone, Hawaiian shaved ice resembles the snow cones you may be used to but looks can be deceiving.

Hawaiian Shaved Ice Flavors

Hawaiian shaved ice is all about the texture and flavor.

Much smaller, more delicate ice shavings absorb the flavored syrup without it pooling at the bottom of the cup. Shaved ice is never watery, the texture is light and delicate, and the flavor combinations are endless. It’s the perfect treat after checking out the best Cocoa Beach restaurants on the water or a great way to stay cool while spending time at the #1 Cocoa Beach fishing pier.

But if this hasn’t’ convinced you and you’re still wondering what to do in Cocoa Beach Florida, here are 10 reasons to try Hawaiian shaved ice and why you’ll never go back.

1 |The Entire Family Will Love It | If you’re searching for a sweet treat that everyone (even grandma) will love, look no further than delicious Hawaiian shaved ice! Families from around the world come to sunny Cocoa Beach because of its white-sand beaches, gorgeous scenery, and quaint beach town atmosphere.

But what many don’t know is Cocoa Beach’s best-kept secret is located at the famous Westgate Cocoa Beach Pier! Offering 30 flavors, including Barbie, Wine Cooler, Dreamsicle, and Maitai, the Maui J’s Hawaiian Shaved Ice is the perfect mid-day snack to help you find your chill.

2 | It’s Inexpensive | Traditional Hawaiian shaved ice may cost slightly more than a snow cone, but as long as you keep it simple, the price is right.

While expensive, organic syrup and gourmet toppings can drive the price to $15. If you’re happy to indulge in simple syrup toppings, you can expect to pay no more than $5.

The magic of shaved ice is in how fine the flakes are and not how many expensive toppings are added to it.

It is best enjoyed as the simple, delicious treat it was intended to be without fanfare and complication.

3 | You Can Make it at Home | While it’s true that nothing can compare to enjoying your Hawaiian shaved ice where it comes from. That doesn’t mean you can’t make it for yourself at home.

With a few simple tools and a little ingenuity, you can get close to a perfect result without having to board a plane.

All you need is a decent food processor, some syrup, and your imagination.

4 | It’s Unique | It may be tempting to think shaved ice is the same as the snow cones we all know and love. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Great shaved ice has a taste and texture all of its own. The vibrant flavors and light flakes of ice combine for an experience that is second to none.

The ice is never crunchy, while the depth of flavor is retained by the fine ice shavings so meticulously prepared by the best vendors.

Just be sure to make a beeline for the longest queue. It’s the most certain sign of a vendor doing Hawaiian Shaved ice right.

5 | It’s Traditional | Shaved ice was traditionally reserved for the wealthiest and most privileged in Japanese society before refrigeration was possible.

Many Japanese came to Hawaii at the beginning of the 20th Century to work, bringing the tradition with them.

As ice became cheaper and more readily available, the popularity of shaved ice in Hawaii continued to grow in the early 1900s.

By 1950, Japanese entrepreneurs regularly sold shaved ice across Hawaii, taking advantage of its increasing popularity.

It is popular across the Hawaiian Islands and is available almost anywhere you care to look. Delicious as it is, there is a depth of history behind Hawaiian shaved ice waiting to be discovered.

6 | Endless Flavors | The list of toppings and flavors used in Hawaiian shaved ice never stops growing. From Adzuki beans nestling beneath your cone to indulgent condensed milk toppings, you’re sure to find something to love about shaved ice.

If it’s your first time, keep it simple. Once you’ve tasted the difference the light, fluffy ice shavings make, you can let your imagination run wild.

7 | It’s Almost Guilt-Free | An unstoppable sweet tooth is often enemy No 1 for anybody trying to keep an eye on their calories. Luckily, shaved ice is mostly frozen water topped with sweet syrup in its most conventional form.

While you can load Hawaiian shaved ice with an avalanche of toppings, if you keep it simple, you can enjoy it regularly without worrying about it damaging your health.

Also, sticking to fresh and natural toppings that are widely available from most vendors avoids any nasty additives that may be present in more commercial products.

8 | It’s Refreshing | Some love an ice-cold drink on a blisteringly hot day, but nothing cools you off quite like Hawaiian shaved ice.

It is the perfect combination of the lightest flakes of ice you can imagine, zesty flavors, and is guaranteed to put the spring back into your step.

9 | Local is Better | One of the greatest joys of travel is to immerse yourself in the culture and food of a part of the world that is new and exciting.

Hawaii is a colorful, vibrant destination world-renowned for its culture and history.

Shaved ice is a part of the fabric of society in Hawaii. It’s enjoyed by all and has come to embody the carefree attitude Hawaii is so famous for.

Hawaiian shaved ice is at its best when paired with local flavors like pineapple, coconut, oranges, or cherry. These flavors are not only guaranteed to be the freshest available but also the best way to get the most out of your cone.

10 | Memories | The best holiday memories are always jogged by the sights, smells, and flavors that remind us of the time we spent away from home.

Long after the tan has subsided and the sand has been emptied from our bags, what we remember most are the experiences we have had.

A delicious Hawaiian shaved ice, enjoyed at the source, is a memory that will last a lifetime. Be sure not to miss out on it for yourself.

Final Thoughts

It’s not often that a single dish can be so emblematic and significant that it becomes inextricably linked with the part of the world that made it famous.

Hawaiian shaved ice may seem like a simple desert, but once you dive beneath the surface, you realize that it’s much more than that.

It’s a delicious Hawaiian institution with a rich history that belies its simple, delicious nature.

If you’re coming to Hawaii, make sure that your first stop is for shaved ice. I promise you won’t regret it.


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For more information, please contact a Vacation Specialist at 888-852-2959. Westgate Owners: To book your week online please visit: https://my.westgateresorts.com.

* Westgate Resorts is in no way affiliated with the attractions featured in this article. Items or places listed are current as of the publishing date of this article. Please call or visit the respective website for the most up-to-date offerings and details.

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