Believe it or not, shaved ice as we know it today, dates back several centuries ago to the Heian Period of Japan. Ice was collected from the mountains in the winter time and stored in a special room. This may sound odd but ice itself was considered rare during this time, so shaved ice was really a luxury reserved for royalty.
Later, thousands of Japanese immigrants came to the Hawaiian islands to work on the sugar plantations, bringing with them the first iterations of shaved ice. Using Japanese swords, they would shave large blocks of ice and then flavor the shaved ice with local fruit juices.
- "A Taste of Shaved Ice History"
Thanks Kona Ice for your generosity and for a little taste trip back to the Islands...