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Stay Cool with The Island's Natural Cold Treats

May 30, 2017

The shave ice menu board of Uncle Clay's House of Pure Aloha.

Nothing can beat the scorching summer sun when it comes to cold desserts. The first bite of freshly shaved ice after a long day at the beach still gives me the sweetest adrenaline rush. To make this cold sensation last longer, we hurry and chisel down another slope of colorful flakes of snow, then another, and then another before it turns into a shapeless rainbow puddle. Despite the effort, a long-lasting effect seems to only work by punishing us with a freezing headache, or “the rocky horror picture show” of a colorful tongue. It was nothing but fun to show and share a bloody-red tongue or a bluish-purple tongue with each other when we were children.

Luckily, today we find many local businesses that offer the same sweet sensation to our sweet tooth without leaving an unwanted color transfer. Instead of an artificial something, they are transforming our cold dessert experience with more natural ingredients and fine local produce. These lively flavors and textures of fresh local fruits, or the eclectic combinations of classic and exotic ingredients, now enable us to take our time and savor every spoonful of its natural sweetness.

Let's explore some of their mouth-watering creations together.


Uncle Clay’s House of Pure Aloha

Located in the Aina Haina Shopping Center, it is a perfect stop to recover from an all-day snorkeling excursion at the Hanauma Bay. Uncle Clay’s makes their original syrups from scratch in the house with all-natural ingredients (such as natural cane sugar), meaning NO artificial anything. With local fresh fruits from the island farmers, now you can enjoy a farm-to-table experience even with your shave ice!

'Strawberry Dream' at Uncke Clay's. With strawberry seeds in the syrup, you can get a wholesome strawberry experience from its flavor to the texture. Not to mention the exceptionally heavenly Tahitian vanilla bean ice cream on the bottom.

Butterfly Ice Cream

100% natural and sourced locally… what can go wrong with Butterfly’s homemade gourmet ice cream and sorbet? It not only welcomes us with refreshingly flavor-rich ice creams, but also offers the surprisingly rich menu of creative flavors. It’s a little oasis for those who wander around the Kakaʻako area either before or after a walk. Just like Kakaʻako’s ever changing landscape, Butterfly Ice Cream never stops evolving.

Left: 'Black Sesame', Right: 'Water Melon Soju'. Every flavor is packed full of little bits and dots of fresh local ingredients. Pineapple sorbet scored extra points when I found juicy lumps of fresh pineapples inside.

Lemona Hawaii

Who on earth would care about such detail as to how quickly my snow cone would melt? Lemona does! A little shave ice shop on the quiet back alley of Lewers Street, uses double filtered water so that the water is purer to delay its melting speed! A hidden undertone of sweet Meyer lemon juice from the Big Island, is one of their many tricks that Lemona does to bring out the sweetness of their fresh ingredients at its best. From the organic original condensed milk, to the homemade fresh fruit syrup and to the ripe fruits on the top, everything complements each other.

'Papaya Shave Ice' with a juicy mountain of fresh papaya. Is it the papaya syrup, mild milky sweetness of condensed milk, or the ripe papaya itself? From the very first bite to the last, I could never tell which was the main contributor of this buttery sweet joy.


If you are one of those who've been excluded from a fun circle of dairy-rich ice cream experiences and later from another dairy dream experience of froyo, then this is your time to shine! Banan is here for you to savor every bit of its dairy-free soft serve made with locally grown bananas as its main ingredient. Seven basic flavors–Banana, Liliko'i, Chocolate Mac, Acaí, Green Tea, Roots (beets) and Greens (kale & spirulina) are all unique blends of fresh veggies, spices, and fruits sourced mainly from the local farmers on the Hawaiian Islands.

‘Stairway to Heaven’ comes with Green Banan which is a banana based soft serve mixed with ginger (from Big Island), mint (from Waianae, Oahu), spirulina (from Big Island), and kale, adorned with Sugarland Farms' banana, Maui Gold pineapples, Kumu Farms' papaya, granola and Manoa honey. Here, shaved coconut is substituted with bee pollen.

Enjoy the sun all year round on the islands, but don’t forget to stay cool with the island’s amazing selection of cold treats!

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