7 Summer-Special Shaved Ice Delights From Around The World
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Shaved ice, drenched in rainbow syrups, is a delightfully straightforward frozen treat. This well-known dish is consumed throughout the year, but particularly in the summer. Shaved ice has its roots in Hawaii's storied plantation past, even though syrup-covered ice is a frequent sight in many cultures (think of Filipino halo-halo, Chinese baobing, and Korean patbingsu). 

These days, shaved ice treats are a staple in many nations. As these "shave ice" (crushed or shaved ice) desserts have spread around the world, they have developed local methods and added new flavours to produce new variations of the original idea. There is something for everyone, ranging from an overloaded Filipino halo halo to a simple Japanese kakigori.


Kakigori is a type of Japanese delicacy prepared with shaved ice and flavoured syrup, typically fruit-based. It can also be sweetened with evaporated or condensed milk and topped with mochi and sweet bean paste. The first kakigōri shop is thought to have been established in 1869, although common inhabitants did not have access to it until the 19th century, despite its existence from the Haeian period (794–1185). Kakigori is traditionally made using pure ice collected from mineral water from natural springs. The hand-cranked machine (or, more often these days, an electric one) gives the shaving ice a fluffy, snowflake-like texture. The most popular and traditional flavours include matcha, melon, cherry, lemon, and strawberry.


Baobing is a simple dessert prepared with finely shaved ice and fresh fruit like rambutans, litchis, and mangoes. Usually, toppings such as mung beans, peanuts, condensed milk, and flavour-infused sugar syrup are added. In the hot summer months, baobing is especially popular in China, Taiwan, and Vietnam. It is offered for sale at several night markets next to booths that serve pancakes and tofu.

Behind baobing lies nearly a millennium of history. It was first consumed in China in the seventh century. The dessert has evolved throughout time and is currently offered at a number of Asian restaurants in the US.


Patbingsu, which translates to "red bean ice flakes," is a well-known delicacy from South Korea. It is made out of sweet azuki bean paste, condensed milk, and shaved ice. There are several versions with different toppings added based on personal desire, but it is typically topped with pieces of Korean rice cakes called tteok, fresh fruit, or cereals.

While patbingsu is usually accessible all year round, its popularity peaks in the summer. The treat's flavour and texture combination—crunchy, creamy, and chewy—is highly regarded. This is a multi-layered meal, but before eating, everything is usually swirled together until the shaved ice melts and the mixture becomes a sort of cold, sweet soup.

Halo Halo

A cool summertime treat or snack, halo-halo consists of blended fruit and beans, crushed ice and either milk or ice cream on top. Bananas, jackfruit, coconut, sweet potatoes, red mung beans, chickpeas, sugar palm fruit, purple yam jam, leche flan and, more recently, sweet corn or corn crisps are some of the most popular components for halo-halo.

Before the Japanese rule of the Philippines in the 1940s, halo-halo was originally offered by Japanese vendors at a number of street booths or in halo-halo parlours. It's frequently said that this Filipino delicacy was influenced by the Japanese summer beverage anmitsu, which is a shaved-ice cooler.


This traditional Italian semi-frozen dessert is the perfect way to stay cool during the sweltering summer months. It's offered across Sicily and is usually had for breakfast with bread and cappuccino. Sugar, water, and fruit juice or additional flavourings are the ingredients of granita. Granita is commonly mistaken for sorbetto, but its name comes from its considerably grainier texture. Its roots are in the sweet Arabic chilled drink sharbāt, which was brought to Sicily during Arab control.

Taiwan Mango Shaved Ice

Mango shaved ice is a popular Taiwanese ice dessert that is usually prepared by shaving flavoured ice into a bowl and then serving the shaved ice with condensed milk and fresh mango chunks. A variety of fresh fruit, such as strawberries or kiwis, scoops of vanilla or mango ice cream, pannacotta, sorbet, and jelly are other common dessert accompaniments.

This delicacy is often smooth and melt-in-your-mouth in texture, with a somewhat sweet flavour that is characteristic of fresh fruit. It may be enjoyed in both the summer and the winter.

Es Campur

Es campur is the Indonesian word for mixed ice. This ice dish is more akin to bingsu and halo-halo in its love of intricate toppings than other alternatives like kakigori.

The typical fluffy ice flakes are topped with chopped fruit, coconut, tapioca pearls, condensed milk, and grass jelly, a bittersweet jelly treat that is indigenous to Southeast Asia when it's time to serve.