And while you’re certainly not wrong to equate the two, an injustice occurs when your thoughts end there.
As various parts of the globe prove, shaved ice is much more than ice shavings or crushed cubes doused in sweet syrup. Many countries have a unique creation process that puts a tasty spin on this delectable frozen dessert, whether through incorporating various flavors, adding toppings, or altering the consistency of the ice. The result? A variation in texture that comes as a surprise no matter which country’s influence melts on your tongue.
Luckily, these international versions of shaved ice have trickled their way from around the globe and into the melting pot of the United States and, more specifically, right here in South Florida. What better place for it to fill dessert bowls than the area where cooling off is necessary year-round? These five desserts are sure to do the trick.
5. Halo Halo at Lutong Pinoy Filipino Cuisine
17048 W. Dixie Hwy., North Miami Beach; 9131 Pembroke Rd., Pembroke Pines. Call 305-454-0135 or 954-435-2772.
Lutong Pinoy Filipino Cuisine may be a hole in the wall, but if you could describe its menu in one word, it’s “authentic” — especially when it comes to its halo-halo, a Filipino dessert that literally means “mix mix.” This colorful dish has all the classic trademarks of halo-halo, including shaved ice, ube ice cream (in an irresistible bright purple), leche flan, and milk mixed in with sweet toppings. Those accoutrements include red and white beans, banana, coconut string, sweet potato, and coco jellies. Dessert can’t get much more fun.
4. Rainbow Italian Ice at Richie’s Gourmet Italian Ice
898 E. Commercial Blvd., Oakland Park. Call 954-772-1183 or visit richiesitalianices.com.
Similar to sorbet or granita, Italian ice is derived from ice grains, and at Richie’s Gourmet Italian Ice, the flavors are so potent, refreshing, and endless that it’s hard to settle on just one. That’s why you should go with the Rainbow concoction, a fun mix of blueberry, cherry, and pineapple bringing you the best of the fruit worlds. For such a small place, Richie’s packs a big punch.