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Hawaiian Shave Ice vs. Italian Ice


On a hot day, the perfect way to cool down includes grabbing your favorite cool treat and relaxing in the shade but which treat will you choose? Hawaiian Shaved Ice or Italian Ice? You might think they are the same thing, either will be fine, but there are several differences between the treats including texture, flavor, ingredients and even the machines used when making the two desserts. Let’s explore the differences in Hawaiian Shaved Ice vs. Italian Ice.

Ingredients and Texture

An Italian ice includes fruit, sugar, honey, lemon juice and ice. You place everything in a food processor or blender and mix until completely smooth.

According to What’s Cooking America, “An authentic shaved ice starts with a block of ice that is spun across a razor-sharp blade which shaves the ice creating a soft snow-like texture.  Then it is packed into a paper cone, and flavored syrup is poured over the ice.”  The texture of Hawaiian Shaved Ice is not smooth. Once you add the syrup, it can take on more of a slush texture.

The ingredients for a Hawaiian Shaved Ice include ice and flavored syrup. You make the simple syrup from water, sugar, and flavoring. Real Hawaiian Ice also offers all-natural options as well as ice cream flavors. You can make all-natural options with real fruit and fruit juice concentrates. The additional ingredient in the ice cream flavors is sweetened condensed milk. As you can see, the flavor varieties in Hawaiian Shaved Ice is vast compared to Italian Ice, and we haven’t even featured favors yet! For more information on the specific ways to mix Shaved Ice flavors check out this post with mixing instructions.


Italian & Shave Ice Flavors

Italian Ice flavors classically include lemon, raspberry, strawberry, and other fruit combinations. Flavors are limited with a true Italian Ice since the base contains whole fresh fruit.

Hawaiian Shaved Ice includes dozens of individual flavors. But the best part is that you can add more than one flavor to a cone! The flavor possibilities are endless.

Some of the Real Hawaiian Ice flavors include:

  • pineapple
  • coconut
  • raspberry
  • lemon
  • lime
  • orange
  • peach
  • cherry
  • blue raspberry

You can add a sour flavoring to any base. We also suggest mixing things up! For a Pina Colada combine 3 parts pineapple and 2 parts coconut. For a Mai Tai add 2 parts pineapple, 1 part lemon, and 1 part orange.

Italian & Shave Ice Machines

As mentioned above you make an Italian Ice in a blender or food processor. The shaved ice is so fine that flavorings are absorbed into the ice rather than settling to the bottom of the cup as with a snow cone.”

There are several Hawaiian Shaved Ice machines. Each provides different control when shaving the ice. The closer the shave the more of a snow-like the texture. At Real Hawaiian Ice, we believe in the Hatsuyki Ice Shaver. “Hatsuyuki Ice Shaver is a Japanese machine that is easy to maintain, simple and safe to operate. We offer several varieties of Ice Shavers. In addition, Hatsuyuki’s unique blade adjustment control gives you a choice in the ice texture. Hatsuyuki ice shavers produce fine flakes of shave ice that absorbs our rich Hawaiian shave ice flavors & syrups and melts deliciously in your mouth.”

Now that we’ve compared Hawaiian Shaved Ice vs. Italian Ice you see there a vast difference exists in these two desserts. Although they may both cool you down on a hot day, only one offers hundreds of flavor options as well as all-natural choices. At Real Hawaiian Ice, we commit to providing you with the highest quality products at competitive prices. Contact us online or give us a call to learn more about starting your Hawaiian Shaved Ice business.