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    THE NIBBLE’s Gourmet News & Views

    Trends, Products & Items Of Note In The World Of Specialty Foods

    This is the blog section of THE NIBBLE. Read all of our content on TheNibble.com,
    the online magazine about gourmet and specialty food.

Archive for Ice Cream/Sorbet/Frozen Yogurt

TIP OF THE DAY: The New Banana Split

Yesterday for National Ice Cream Month we featured the “new” ice cream sandwich, a sandwich/sundae fusion.

Today, it’s the “new” banana split in the photo: freed from its roots.

The traditional banana split is a type of ice cream sundae made in a long dish called a boat (hence the alternate term, banana boat).

The banana is cut in half lengthwise (the “split”) and placed on the bottom of the boat. The banana is topped with three scoops of ice cream—vanilla, chocolate and strawberry ice cream—placed in a row between the split banana halves. Chocolate, pineapple and strawberry sauces are spooned over the ice cream, in no particular pairing. The sundae is garnished with whipped cream, crushed nuts and a maraschino cherry.

Check out the history of the banana split, below.

Then, plan a banana split party, where guests create their modern interpretations. It could become your signature annual event!

 

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The new banana split: exciting. Photo courtesy SushiSamba.

 

BANANA SPLIT HISTORY

The soda fountains of yore were the equivalent of today’s Starbuck’s, where people met for refreshments and socializing. Soda jerks were the mixologists of their day*, inventing treats to excite customers. Malted milks, banana splits and phosphates emerged at the soda fountains of neighborhood drugstore in the 1890s.

In those days, “jerk” was not a derogatory term; it referred to the quick, sharp pull as the attendant drew the carbonated water tap forward.

David Evans Strickler, a 23-year-old apprentice pharmacist at Tassel Pharmacy in Latrobe, Pennsylvania†, enjoyed taking on the soda jerk role and inventing sundaes at the store’s soda fountain. He invented the banana-based triple scoop ice cream sundae in 1904.

The sundae originally cost 10 cents, twice the price of other sundaes, and caught on with students of nearby Saint Vincent College. In those pre-digital days, news of the nifty new sundae quickly spread by word-of-mouth and written correspondence.

It must have done well for Strickler: He went on to buy the pharmacy, renaming it Strickler’s Pharmacy.

 

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Traditional banana split: meh. Photo courtesy California Milk Advisory Board.

   

The city of Latrobe celebrated the 100th anniversary of the invention of the banana split in 2004. In the same year, the National Ice Cream Retailers Association certified Latrobe as the birthplace of the banana split. It hosts an annual Great American Banana Split Festival in late August (sorry, there’s no website), and the city has the original soda fountain where the banana split was created.

Others tried their hand at the recipe. One, published in 1907, called for a lengthwise split banana, two cones of ice cream at each end of the dish and a mound of whipped cream in between with maraschino cherry on a top. One end was covered with chopped mixed nuts and the other with chopped mixed fruits. [Source: Wikipedia]

Here’s the history of the ice cream sundae, and the long history of ice cream in general.

 
*Their day was the late 1800s through the early 1900s.

†Latrobe is approximately 40 miles southeast of Pittsburgh. The city population was 8,338 as of the 2010 census.
 
PARTY TIME: BANANA SPLIT BAR

How about throwing a banana split party, where guests can invent their on banana splits? Here’s what you need to put together:

  • Ice cream, frozen yogurt, sorbet
  • Sauces: caramel sauce/salted caramel sauce, chocolate sauce, pineapple sauce (or crushed pineapple is a good stand-in), strawberry sauce
  • Bananas, split and/or sliced
  • Chopped nuts (traditional walnuts plus pecans, pistachios and/or slivered almonds)
  • Whipped cream
  • Maraschino cherries
  • Bowls, spoons, scoopers, etc.
  •  
    Ingredients for the “new” banana split:

  • Bananas: caramelized, foster (sautéed in butter and bourbon), fried
  • Cake cubes (the easiest to slice are loaf cakes:carrot cake, chocolate cake, pound cake)
  • Candies: caramel corn/kettle corn, chocolate chips or curls, other baking chip flavors, gummies, mini marshmallows, M&Ms, Reese’s Pieces sprinkles, seasonal candies (like candy corn), toffee bits
  • Crumbled cookies: chocolate waters, meringues, oatmeal cookies, Oreos)
  • Fruits: berries; mango, melon and/or pineapple chunks
  • Wild card: brandied cherries and tart cherries, candied bacon, edible flowers, granola, marshmallow cream
  •   

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Rhubarb Ice Cream

    While rhubarb has fallen out of fashion since our grandmother’s generation, it is enjoying a renaissance thanks to the efforts of a new generation of professional chefs, who use it in sweet and savory preparations.

    Rhubarb is a spring vegetable. You may still be able to find it in your market, but if you can’t find fresh, frozen rhubarb works just as well in this ice cream recipe.

    Our Nana was a big fan of rhubarb, which she stewed with sugar into a wonderful sweet and tart dessert. Many years ago, we chanced across a celestial dish of rhubarb ice cream at the Grand Central Oyster Bar in New York City. When we returned for more, it was off the menu. Most customers, unfamiliar with rhubarb, weren’t enticed to order it.

    So when we received this recipe from Taste Of Home, we raced to the store for rhubarb and dragged out the ice cream machine.

    Consider making a double or triple batch, since this recipe yields only 2-3/4 cups.

       

    rhubarb-ice-cream-tasteofhome-230

    Pretty in pink: rhubarb ice cream. Photo courtesy Taste Of Home.

     

    RECIPE: RHUBARB ICE CREAM

    Ingredients

  • 3 cups sliced fresh rhubarb
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  •  

    rhubarb-SLT-beauty-230

    The tops, not shown, are large, attractive
    green leaves, but they’re mildly toxic. Photo
    courtesy Sur La Table.

     

    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT oven to 375°F. In an ungreased 13×9-in. baking dish, combine rhubarb and sugar; toss to combine. Bake, covered, 30-40 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Cool slightly.

    2. PLACE rhubarb mixture in a blender; cover and process until pureed. Transfer to a bowl; refrigerate, covered, until cold.

    3. STIR lemon juice into rhubarb. In a small bowl, beat cream until stiff peaks form; fold into rhubarb mixture. Transfer to a shallow 1-qt. freezer container.

    4. FREEZE 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Freeze, covered, overnight or until firm. Yield: 2-3/4 cups.

     

    WHAT IS RHUBARB

    Rhubarb, Rheum rhabarbarum, is a vegetable in the family Polygonaceae.

    The leaf stalks (petioles) are crisp like celery with a strong, tart taste. Rhubarb looks like rosy-pink celery, but is no relation (celery is a member of the Apiaceae family).

    Before it was sweetened by British cooks and turned into pies and other desserts, it was added to soups (try it in lentil soup), sauces and stews—Moroccan tagines and Middle Eastern stews, for example. In the current rhubarb renaissance, it is braised and served with meats and as a savory garnish.

    Be sure to cook only the stems; the leaves, though lovely in appearance, are mildly toxic.

    While rhubarb is botanically considered a vegetable, a New York court decided in 1947 that since it was used in the United States as a fruit, it counted as a fruit for the purposes of regulations and duties. A side effect was a reduction on imported rhubarb tariffs, as tariffs were higher for vegetables than fruits. [Source: Wikipedia]

    And that’s only one example. Science notwithstanding, on May 10, 1893, tomatoes, a red fruit/berry of the nightshade family, were declared a vegetable by the United States Supreme Court. At the time, there were import tariffs on vegetables but not fruits, yet tomatoes were still being subjected to the tax. In 1887, an importing company had sued the tax collector of the port of New York to recover back duties collected on their tomatoes, which they claimed had been wrongfully classified as vegetables. The Court decided that the tariff act should be based “in common language of people,” not botanists, so tomatoes should be taxed like potatoes, carrots, parsnips, turnips, beets etc.

    More proof that justice is blind.

     
    MORE RHUBARB RECIPES FROM TATSE OF HOME

  • Rhubarb Upside Down Cake
  • Pineapple Rhubarb Jam
  • Rhubarb Scones
  • Rhubarbecue
  •   

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Fancy Ice Cream Sandwiches For National Ice Cream Month

    strawberry-ice-cream-sand-garnished-sugarfactory-230

    The Strawberry Rainbow: sugar cookies with strawberry ice cream, sauce and lots of rainbow sprinkles. Photo courtesy Sugar Factory.

     

    Sugar Factory, which has locations nationwide, shows us how to make memorable ice cream sandwiches to celebrate National Ice Cream Month. The tip: garnish, garnish, garnish!

    In fact, as you can see in the photos, Sugar Factory’s ice cream sandwiches are part sundae! Start with ice cream and cookies, but add on:

  • Candy: crushed candy canes, flavored baking chips (butterscotch, mint, peanut butter, vanilla), mini M&Ms, mini Reese’s Pieces, toffee chips and anything you find at the candy store
  • Chocolate: chips/mini chips, shavings
  • Fancy garnishes: dragées (silver, gold, pastel mix), edible glitter
  • Fruit: berries, cherries, coconut, grapes, mixed fruit salad
  • Cookie garnishes: crushed cookies or cookie crumbs, fan cookies (gaufrettes), mini meringues, rolled wafer cookies (like Pirouettes)
  • Nuts: chopped or whole, toasted or caramelized, mini chocolate chips, mini M&Ms, mini Reese’s Pieces, sprinkles
  • Sauce: caramel, chocolate, maple syrup, strawberry, etc.
  • Sprinkles
  • Whipped cream, marshmallow cream
  •  

     

    COMBINATIONS FROM SUGAR FACTORY

  • Bananas Foster: white chocolate macadamia nut cookies with bananas foster ice cream, garnished with whipped cream and white chocolate shavings.
  • The Classic: chocolate chip cookies with vanilla or chocolate ice cream, garnished with whipped cream and chocolate chips.
  • Minty Goodness: double chocolate chip cookies with mint chocolate chip ice cream, garnished with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.
  • Mudslide: double chocolate chip cookies with coffee fudge ice cream, garnished with whipped cream and Oreo crumbles.
  • Peanut Butter Cup: peanut butter cookies with chocolate ice cream, garnished with whipped cream and Reese’s pieces.
  • Strawberry Rainbow: sugar cookies with strawberry ice cream, garnished with whipped cream and rainbow sprinkles.
  •  
    How about a make-your-own party bar?

     

    classic-ice-cream-sandwich-garnished-sugarfactory-230

    Chocolate garnishes galore, plus silver dragées on top. Photo courtesy Sugar Factory.

     

      

    Comments

    FOOD FUN: Glitter Ice Cream Cones

    glitter-cones-scoopsiesFB-230

    Ice cream cones coated with fucshia edible
    glitter
    . Photo courtesy Chloe Jankowitz |
    Scoopsies.

     

    Celebrate July (National Ice Cream Month), birthdays and other special occasions by making glitter cones. For July 4th, you can make them in red, white and blue.

    These dazzlers were created by Chloe Jankowitz, owner of Scoopsies ice cream shop in Somerville, Massachusetts.

    They’re really simple and fun to make,” says Chloe.

    GLITTER ICE CREAM CONES

    Ingredients For 24 Cones

  • 24 ice cream cones—wafer, waffle or sugar (the difference)
  • Edible glitter/sprinkles
  • 2 cups chocolate chips—bittersweet, semisweet, white or other chip flavor
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • Parchment paper
  •  

    Preparation

    1. LINE a cookie sheet or jelly roll pan with parchment paper.

    2. MELT 2 cups of chocolate chips and 1/4 cup whole milk in a saucepan over medium/low heat, stirring frequently. Make sure the chocolate doesn’t burn! Once the chocolate is thick and smooth, turn heat to lowest heat setting. Stir occasionally.

    3. DIP the cones in the chocolate an inch or two deep, using a spoon to make sure chocolate is neatly covering the cone. Scrape the inside of the cone with the spoon, getting rid of any excess chocolate. Place the cone on the tray and let cool for a few minutes. Once the cone has cooled down and chocolate is starting to harden…

    4. POUR sprinkles on the cone while rotating it. Make sure the chocolate is completely covered in sprinkles. Repeat to finish all cones.

    5. PLACE the tray of cones in the fridge for about 30 minutes. Remove from fridge and store at room temperature, either in an airtight container or covered with foil.
     
    If you enjoy decorating cones, consider extending your repertoire with coconut, mini M&Ms, Oreo crumbs, toffee chips and other confections.
     
    Buy edible glitter for July 4th in:

  • Red
  • White
  • Blue
  •   

    Comments

    FOOD HOLIDAY: National Vanilla Milkshake Day & A Spiked Milkshake

    Twist and Shout Shake-hardrockcafe-230

    Shake guinness and spiced rum with vanilla ice cream. Photo courtesy Hard Rock Cafe.

     

    Get ready for tomorrow, June 20th: National Vanilla Milkshake Day. Here are two spiked vanilla milkshakes courtesy Hard Rock Cafe.

    RECIPE: SALTED CARAMEL VANILLA MILKSHAKE WITH
    GUINNESS & SPICED RUM

    Hard Rock calls this the “Twist and Shout.”

    Ingredients For 1 Shake

  • 2 ounces Guinness Draught
  • 1 ounce Bacardi OakHeart or other spiced rum
  • ½ ounce dark Crème de Cacao
  • ½ ounce chocolate Syrup
  • ½ ounce Monin Salted Caramel Syrup
  • 2 scoops vanilla ice cream
  • Optional garnishes: crispy bacon or candied bacon, whipped cream
  •  

    1. COMBINE ingredients in a blender. Pour into a tall glass.

    2. GARNISH as desired and serve.

     

     

    RECIPE: VANILLA & PEAR MILKSHAKE WITH BEER & VODKA

    Want something fruitier? Hard Rock’s “Voodoo Brew” is a beer-based shake with blueberry vodka and pear syrup.

    Ingredients For 1 Shake

  • 2 ounces Shock Top or other Belgian white ale
  • 1 ounces Smirnoff or other blueberry vodka
  • ¾ ounces Monin desert pear syrup
  • 2 scoops vanilla ice cream
  • Optional garnishes: fresh blueberries, pear slices, whipped cream
  •  
    Preparation

    1. COMBINE ingredients in a blender. Pour into a tall glass.

    2. GARNISH as desired and serve.
     

    Here’s another vanilla milkshake recipe and the history of the milkshake.

     

    smirnoff-blueberry-vodka-bkgd-230

    Use beers, liqueurs or flavored vodkas to spike conventional milkshakes. Photo courtesy Smirnoff.

     

      

    Comments

    PRODUCT: Dannon Oikos Greek Frozen Yogurt

    June 4th is National Frozen Yogurt Day. Treat yourself to a pint of Oikos Greek frozen yogurt. You can print a $1.00 coupon online.

    The brand recently launched a frozen yogurt line in:

  • Black Cherry
  • Cafe Latte
  • Chocolate
  • Key Lime
  • Strawberry
  • Vanilla
  •  
    We received pints of chocolate, strawberry and vanilla to taste. The strawberry and vanilla didn’t do much for us. There are other brands with better strawberry and vanilla flavor.

     

    chocolate-frozen-yogurt-230

    Chocolate was our favorite in the Oikos Greek frozen yogurt line. Photo courtesy Dannon.

     

    But the chocolate was most satisfactory, especially given that it’s 150 calories per four-ounce serving—a nice break from, say, Häagen-Dazs chocolate ice cream at 260 calories. It may be an apples-and-oranges comparison, but we’d go for the lower calorie option.

    And the lower fat option: Frozen yogurt also has more than half the fat of regular ice cream: 2.5g versus 7g per half-cup serving, according to Dannon. Since much of that fat is saturated (cholesterol), that’s a good thing.

    Finally, if you’re lactose-sensitive, the Oikos frozen yogurt line is made from lactose-reduced nonfat milk.

    The line is certified kosher by OU.

      

    Comments

    TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: Magnum Ice Cream Bars New Flavors

    The premium ice cream brand, Magnum, was launched in Sweden in January 1989. (January? Sweden? Ice cream? Brr!)

    Now part of Unilever, the original Magnum, targeted to adults, offered a thick bar of vanilla ice cream on a stick, with real chocolate coating.

    At the time, there was no real chocolate that could withstand the commercial ice cream freezer temperature of -40° Celsius (even today, premium brands like Häagen-Dazs use confectionary coating, not real chocolate, and good palates can taste the difference).

    So a special (and especially excellent) chocolate was developed by the great Belgian chocolate producer, Callebaut.

    In 2011, Magnum ice cream was launched in the U.S. and Canada with six varieties: Double Caramel, Double Chocolate, Classic, Almond, White and Dark. For us, it was love at first bite.

    Today, Magnum is one of the world’s leading ice cream brands, selling one billion bars annually, worldwide. It is the biggest brand of Unilever ice creams (which include Ben & Jerry’s, Breyers, Fudgsicle, Klondike and Popsicle, among others).

    Since our first Magnum review, the quality has continued to deliver all that one could desire. We’ve been remiss, and it’s time to promote this brand to a Top Pick Of The Week.

       

    chocolate-infinity-box-bar-blackbkgd-230

    The best chocolate fix in the supermarket: a Magnum Chocolate Infinity Bar. Photo courtesy Unilever.

     

     

    minis-black-bkgd-ps-230

    Minis have all of the satisfaction, with far
    fewer calories. Photo courtesy Unilever.

     

    2014 NEW FLAVORS

  • Magnum Chocolate Infinity Bar, dark chocolate ice cream with a rich chocolate swirl, dipped in dark chocolate and cacao (cocoa bean) nibs. The extra texture provided by the cacao nibs is inspired.
  • Magnum Chocolate Infinity & Raspberry Bar, dark chocolate ice cream with a raspberry swirl, dipped in dark chocolate and those inspired cacao nibs. If you haven’t tried it, chocolate and raspberry are one of life’s great combinations, whether in ice cream, chocolates or cake.
  • Also new:

  • Mini Variety Pack, all the pleasure in a smaller serving size, which is still more than satisfying. Flavors include three top-sellers: Classic (vanilla ice cream dipped in milk chocolate), Almond (milk chocolate and almonds) and White Chocolate (vanilla ice cream dipped in white chocolate).
     
    The minis are 11.1 fluid ounces and 150/160* calories compared to 3.38 fluid ounces and 260/270& calories for the standard bars. Whether as lower-calorie treats or for smaller appetites, they hit the spot. (If you want to develop the palates of young children, give them Magnum Minis, not Good Humor).

  •  
    See all the variations available in the U.S. at MagnumIceCream.com (there are even more varieties in Europe).

    The line is certified kosher by KOF-K.
     
    Magnum Chocolate Infinity and Chocolate Infinity & Raspberry bars are available in 3-count multipacks at grocery stores nationwide, for a suggested retail price of $3.99. The Magnum Mini Variety Pack is available for a suggested retail price of $4.99 for a 6-count box. The bars are also available singly at some retailers.
     
    THE HISTORY OF ICE CREAM

    When did ice cream bars appear on the ice cream time line? Check out the history of ice cream.
     
    *Almond-coated bars have 10 additional calories.

      

    Comments

    PRODUCT: Maple Bacon Frozen Yogurt

    maple-bacon-yogenfruz-230

    Maple Bacon frozen yogurt with toppings.
    Photo courtesy Yogen Fruz.

     

    While there are more than 1300 Yogen Fruz stores worldwide, there’s none anywhere near us. But if you’re within easy distance (store locator) and want to try maple bacon frozen yogurt, head over.

    Yogen Fruz says their one-of-a-kind Maple Bacon flavor has a smokey bacon flavor with a hint of maple that. The company recommends optional toppings: a drizzle of caramel and chocolate sauce, chocolate curls and red velvet cake bites.

    We’d prefer a garnish candied bacon (recipe below).

    Launched in time to celebrate Father’s Day, a four-ounce serving (what you get may be much more) has 120 calories, excluding toppings, and 1.5g fat. as well as being lower in fat

    Frozen yogurt is made from lowfat or nonfat yogurt plus sweetener, gelatin, corn syrup, flavoring and sometimes, coloring. Churned in an ice cream machine, it is available soft-serve and hard-packed.

    Depending on the brand, the flavor varies from slightly to much more tart than ice cream.

     

    Frozen yogurt both freezes and melts much more slowly than ice cream; yogurt has a much higher freezing and melting point than milk. The beneficial bacteria Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus are believed to be killed when the yogurt is frozen.

    If you want to make frozen yogurt at home, you can use nonfat yogurt and milk in place of regular milk and yogurt in the recipes. We recommend that you use a high quality ice cream maker that can get the job done over the longer freezing time.
     
    Check out the different types of frozen desserts in our Ice Cream Glossary.

     
    RECIPE: CANDIED BACON RECIPE

    Ingredients

  • 8 pieces thinly sliced bacon
  • 1/4 cup plus two tablespoons maple syrup
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT oven to 300°F.

    2. PLACE bacon strips flat on a cooling rack screen on a baking sheet. Bake the bacon for approximately 10 to 12 minutes, or until thoroughly brown and crispy.

    3. COOL bacon; brush both sides of the bacon strips with maple syrup using a pastry brush. Place the bacon back in the oven and bake for an additional 3-4 minutes.

      

    Comments

    TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: New Talenti Gelato Flavors

    3-pints-raspberry-brownie-apple-230

    Each flavor is better than the next. Photo by
    Elvira Kalviste | THE NIBBLE.

     

    Among the happiest days of THE NIBBLE’s year are when the samples of Talenti Gelato & Sorbetto’s new flavors arrive. This privately owned business produces a superior artisan ice cream at a better price than the big “superpremium” brands like Häagen-Dazs and Ben & Jerry’s.

    Discriminating consumers know it. As proof, since 2007, Talenti’s revenue has exploded from $1 million to $49.3 million in 2012, the last year for which we could obtain figures.

    Three new flavors have recently joined the line:

    Caramel Apple Pie is more cinnamon apple pie with a subtle hint of caramel in the swirl, which is just fine with us. With plentiful pieces of Red Delicious apples and flaky pie crust, it is like apple pie in pint. Instead of baking a pie for a gathering, bring a few pints of it!

    Fudge Brownie is an extra-dark chocolate with a welcome bittersweet edge and chewy chunks of brownie. If there could be an improvement on the original Talenti Double Dark Chocolate gelato, this is it.

    Raspberry Vanilla is like a dish of fresh raspberries and cream that has been frozen. The sweet cream gelato with pieces of fresh berries has a tart raspberry and balsamic ripple for a sophisticated twist.

     

    Talenti gelato also has 30% less fat than regular ice cream—though you’d never know it. It’s a better-for-you option that’s as rich and creamy as you want it to be.

    The milk used is rBST free. Vegans and those avoiding lactose can enjoy four delicious sorbets.

     

    Like all Talenti flavors, these new flavors are made using the finest natural ingredients that are carefully sourced from around the world: chocolate from Belgium, caramel from Argentina and mangoes from India, to name a few. Premium fresh fruit and spices are used.

    The line, which includes sorbetto and ice pops, is certified kosher (dairy) by OU. The products are available at major retailers nationwide, at a suggested retail price of $4.99-$5.99

    Those who judge an ice cream line by its vanilla are encouraged to try the ethereal Tahitian Vanilla Bean. Chocolate lovers can dish up Double Dark Chocolate and Belgian Milk Chocolate (try a combination of both!).

    Our personal favorites: Banana Chocolate Swirl and Black Raspberry Chocolate Chip.

     

    pint-piggy-bank-andrewwilsoninspiration-230sq

    Un-piggy banks for everyone! Photo courtesy Talenti.

     

    Check out all 25 Talenti flavors.

    And please, Talenti: We’d love for you to make peach gelato. Maybe for next summer?

    Also in stores nationwide are Talenti’s Gelato Pops, in 8 delicious flavors dipped in Belgian chocolate. We’re especially addicted to Banana Swirl and Caribbean Coconut.

    Chomping at the bit? Here’s a store locator.

    Coda: Talenti’s unique see-through containers can be popped into the dishwasher and reused for food storage. Or, make everyone a piggy bank to collect loose that pesky loose change.

      

    Comments (1)

    FOOD FUN: Snow Ice

    One of our favorite writers, bakers and photographers—that’s all one person, Hannah Kaminsky of Bittersweet Blog—is on sabbatical in Hawaii. The photos she’s been posting are such a treat.

    One of her favorite discoveries is snow ice. “A distinct and entirely different dessert than shave ice,” she writes, “snow ice is also a sweet frozen snack, but made of paper-thin ribbons of ice flakes already infused with flavor. Thus, no syrup is required.” [There’s more about the differences below.]

    “This creates a sensational, light texture that’s incredibly easy to eat, even after a big meal. The technique actually comes from Taiwan but has taken root in Hawaii, particularly in downtown Honolulu.”

    Hannah has been hanging out at Frostcity, a small chain with lot of flavors. The base can be milk- or water-based.

    There you’ll find an abundance of flavors, some milk-based and some water-based (vegan):

     

    watermelon-snow-ice-hannahkaminsky-230

    A mountain of snow ice. Photo © Hannah
    Kaminsky | Bittersweet Blog.

     

  • Classic flavors: almond, chocolate, coffee, cookies & cream, green tea & azuki, mint, nutella, peanut and vanilla
  • Conventional fruits: assorted Berry and melon flavors, banana, lemonade, limeade, mango, pineapple
  • Exotic flavors: avocado, black sesame, calamansi*, haupia†, purple sweet potato
  • Combinations: caramel apple, choco hazelberry (strawberry and Nutella), piña colada, strawberry cheesecake toffee-choco mac
  • Seasonal flavors: egg Nog, gingerbread, nectarine
  • Savory flavors: natto, pickle, sriracha, watercress
  •  
    Colorful garnishes include azuki beans, jellies, mochi balls, tapioca pearls and a sauce of sweetened condensed milk.

     

    blueberry-dramatic-frostcity-230

    Blueberry shaved ice, garnished with “the
    works.” Photo courtesy Frostcity | Honolulu.

     

    SNOW ICE & SHAVE ICE: THE DIFFERENCE

    While both are frozen treats, snow ice is an entirely different dessert than shave ice.

    Snow ice, made in a special machine, consists of paper-thin ribbons of ice flakes that are already infused with flavor. There’s no syrup—which is how shave ice gets its flavor.

    The machine creates a sensational, light texture that’s incredibly easy to eat. The technique actually comes from Taiwan but has taken root in Hawaii, particularly in downtown Honolulu.

    Shave ice or Hawaiian shave ice is made by shaving a block of ice. (That’s “shave ice,” not “shaved ice”—a fact more grammar-conscious people may stumble over. On the Big Island it is also referred to as “ice shave.”)

    Shaving produces a very fine, snow-like ice that easily absorbs the flavored syrup poured over it. Shave ice resembles a snow cone; but there’s a significant difference. Snow cones are made with crushed, rather than shaved, ice and have a rougher texture.

    Which would you prefer? You may have to buy a ticket to Honolulu to begin your voyage of discovery.

     

    *A rarity in the continental U.S. but common in Hawaii, calamondin (also called calamansi) is a Pacific Rim lime that looks like an orange. It was grown in Florida and California until the easier-to-cultivate Bearss/Persian/Tahitian lime became the standard supermarket lime. Some heirloom fruit can still be found in farmers markets. Learn more about the calamondin in our Lime Glossary.
     
    †Haupia is a traditional coconut milk-based Hawaiian dessert often found at luaus and other local gatherings. Made from coconut milk, heated with a thickening agent, it is also a popular topping for white cake, including wedding cake. Although technically a pudding, the consistency approximates a gelatin dessert and it is usually served in blocks like gelatin.

      

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