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07 May 2017


My first taste of shaved ice came in Oahu. Don't call it a snow cone. The premium shaved ice, the five cone rating by Holliday standards, can be found at Matsumato's on Oahu's North Shore. It's not like any other. In fact, it may ruin you for ordinary snow cones for the rest of your life. They shave blocks of blue ice into powdery snow. The syrup flavors in technicolor. A little scoop of rich vanilla ice cream at the bottom of the cup serves to both keep the syrup from dripping out the bottom of the cone and to create a final taste sensation. When we were stationed at Pearl Harbor for a blur of 11 months, I probably visited Matsumoto's 12 times.  If you go to Oahu, you must go to Haleiwa. Really, you must.

And now, in some crazy form of six degrees of separation, my twins work for Kona Ice. They never lived in Hawaii, and only know Matsumoto's by one blessed visit. But thanks to their crazy mom, they know raspas, the Mexican version of shaved ice. One coincidence leads to another and then my twinsees are making shaved ice in a food truck. Their mom beams.

It was a Saturday funk, I'll say, a low of lows. But the sun was bright, and the Texas tradition of Market Days drew me out. That turned out to be good medicine. My Sarah's sweet boss comp'd me a cup and I flavored it Mango Cherry. I spotted a dear friend across the way and brought one to her. Who doesn't love a shaved ice on a warm day? Find one, friend. It will do you good.

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