How to eat Japanese shaved ice |What’s the best way to eat shaved ice?
Shaved ice is one of the most popular summer treats in Japan.
According to a survey by a Japanese weather company, more people prefer shaved ice to ice cream with temperatures over 30°C . For more information, we asked Urara, an old private house cafe, how they enjoy shaved ice.
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Using the spoon vertically.
When you eat shaved ice, do you place the spoon horizontally into the shaved ice? For better taste, spoon the shaved ice vertically. This is because by placing the spoon vertically, you can enjoy the contrast of the flavors of the syrups on the shaved ice.
This time we had shaved ice with “green tea azuki”. The rich-tasting syrup is handmade on site using matcha tea imported from Hokaen. It is a long-established tea wholesaler in Kyoto with a history of 160 years.
The shaved ice is topped with azuki beans. The red beans are said to be carefully boiled in the store, so they are plump and fluffy.
Enjoy the harmony of azuki beans and matcha flavor starting from the top.
Topped with condensed milk!
If you ask for “matcha azuki,” try topping it with mild condensed milk. The homemade condensed milk has a thick and elegant sweetness that goes perfectly with the matcha green tea and azuki beans. The harmony of bitterness and gentle sweetness will spread in your mouth.
※Homemade condensed milk topping is an extra charge
Try tasting only ice
When you eat through to the middle, you will reach the ice-only part. You may think that ice alone has no flavor, but in fact, we avoid having syrup on it so that you can enjoy the taste of natural ice.
When you bring the ice without syrup to your mouth, you will find a slightly crispy texture in the fluffy ice.
I was able to notice the charm of shaved ice that is unique with the syrup.
Climaxes with a follow-up syrup!
After tasting just the ice, pour the optional follow-up syrup evenly over the ice.
At the bottom were azuki beans and agar.
The homemade matcha syrup is crafted to a concentration that takes into account the melting of the ice. Therefore, when eaten with slightly melted ice, it was like enjoying a frozen drink! I was able to enjoy the shaved ice to the very end.
Avoid brain freeze by knowing the ice
Do you ever get brain freeze when eating shaved ice? Actually, natural ice is less likely to give you a headache.
The ice used at Urara is from the Shougetsu Ice House, a natural ice warehouse established in 1894 in Nikko, Tochigi Prefecture. The ice is made by slowly freezing it over a period of about two weeks in a natural environment that is almost the same today as it was when the company was founded. The ice has far fewer impurities than artificial ice, and because it is clear and hard, it becomes fluffy when shaved thin, resulting in shaved ice with no sharp edges.
Although it is easy to feel that you have to eat shaved ice in a hurry, taking a little time to savor it will allow you to appreciate its charms even more. Enjoy a moment to forget the heat with shaved ice this summer!
* The published information is current as of June 2023. Prices and other details are subject to change.
“Urara” is an old private house cafe, where you can enjoy a meal inside the store, which has the atmosphere of the early Showa period, and on the courtyard terrace, which is full of elegance. The menu includes Urara's specialty, shaved ice made from natural Nikko ice, udon noodles with homemade soup stock, sweets, and original cocktails.