We always called them “snow cones” and I guess people in Oahu have no reference point for snow, so the name of these popular snacks is “shave ice”. Nothing so different – the luridly bright artificial colors, the mess they make when they melt despite the straw and the spoon, but – it’s a bit of local color, and pride…and they’re very refreshing.
These photos follow the process of making me a Shave Ice at a small shop at the start of the Manoa Falls trail. They happily consented to let me snap photos as they questioned me about sour or sweet, shaved the ice from a block inside a contraption that looked like a popcorn popper at the movies, packed in the ice, and then dusted the top with sour dried plum granules. Each part of the creation had a different flavor – until it all merged and melted together!
Food trucks – or stands – are all over the island once you get outside the city. Many just operate out of a bus, truck or van with an awning outside the window and maybe a couple of picnic tables and an umbrella. The signage is usually hand painted and often psychedelic in design! There are warning signs that roadside vendors cannot operate in certain areas in which the local government has control over the selling, but they spring up everywhere anyway. Many vendors have stellar reputations and long lines, but others probably stay in business by attracting new tourists for a one-off. We patronized a couple of legendary, well-known vendors as well as one that provided us with a bonus colonic (LOL).
Here’s a photo of a roadside food truck on the North Shore (north side) of Oahu.