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The Shave Ice Difference

It’s the classic mix up. Snow cone, shave ice. It’s all just ice and syrup after all. What’s the difference, right?

Contrary to popular belief and despite their similarities, shave ice and snow cones are actually two entirely different treats. Each with their own taste, texture, presentation and background.

Here are the key differences you should know:

Snow cone

  • The ice in snow cones is crushed up, giving it a harder, crunchier texture
  • Typically served in a small paper cone
  • Often eaten with no utensils like an ice cream cone
  • Associated with standard syrup flavors such as Blue Raspberry, Cherry and Tigers Blood
  • Originated in 1919 at the State Fair of Texas in Dallas. Invented by Samuel Bert

Shave Ice

  • The ice is thinly shaved, giving it a softer, fluffier texture
  • Typically served in colorful flower cups which come in a variety of sizes
  • Usually consumed with a spoon or straw
  • Associated with more exotic, tropical flavors and known to have toppings or condiments
  • Early origins for shave ice date back to early Asia. It was brought to the West when Japanese immigrants travelled to Hawaii to work on sugar plantations. Ever since then it has been a staple of Hawaiian food culture.

Why Shave Ice?

Both treats have their perks and come from rich histories, but we believe that shave ice is a step above for many reasons.

The lighter texture of shave ice is more ideal. It’s smoother, easier to eat and fully absorbs the syrup. With snow cones, the majority of the syrup seeps right through the large, chunky bits of ice and ends up at the bottom of the cone, leaving portions of the treat flavourless. Shave ice creates a perfect blend throughout the entire flower cup.

On the topic of flower cups, they function as a much better container than cones due to their unique shape. The longer handle gives users a firmer grasp and the wide opening provides a shield for the ice, preventing spillage.

Additionally, the fun design and bright colors make flower cups a terrific decor for arts and crafts projects after you’re done eating. Flower cups can be used as a makeshift vase for plants, a pencil holder or a stylish container for candy.

Shave ice also tends to offer a wider overall selection of flavors. Despite being known for Hawaiian-based flavors, our ice comes in dozens of diverse flavors including all the familiar classics such as Blue Raspberry and Tigers Blood. Whether you’re looking for a tropical treat or a carnival classic, we have you covered.